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Colorado Physician Health Program
899 Logan St., Suite 410
Denver, CO 80203
303-860-0122 phone
303-860-7426 fax
Office Hours: Monday – Friday
8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
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Mandatory Referrals
  HomeReferralsMandatory Referrals

Formal Referrals

Formal referrals are those in which an individual has been required to be evaluated at CPHP. These individuals have been required by their workplace, training program or the Colorado Board of Medical Examiners to be evaluated by CPHP.

When to Refer?

Please call CPHP if you have any questions about how any psychological or medical problem could have the potential to impact or has impacted a physician’s ability to practice medicine safely. If problematic areas have been addressed with a physician, formally or informally, and there has not been resolution, it may be necessary to make a formal referral to CPHP.

If you have a concern about an urgent issue please call and consult with a clinician at CPHP.

Possible Behavioral Indicators of a Health Problem

There can be several indicators of psychological/medical and/or personal issues that can present themselves in various ways in a physician’s life. A primary indicator of impairment is a change in attitude or behavior.

The linked list below suggests some areas of potential concern. Any one of these listed does not indicate a diagnosis of a medical or psychiatric disorder.

Some of the following signs and symptoms:
Behavioral Indicators of a Possible Health Problem in a Medical Professional

If these or other areas of concern indicate the need for a referral to CPHP, please clarify your policy and/or employment contracts, credentialing by-laws, etc., prior to calling CPHP (for CPHP does not provide legal advice). It might be helpful to seek advice from other departmental directors who have had experience in referring to and working with CPHP. As noted above, if you have a concern about an urgent issue, please call and consult with CPHP.

How to Make a Formal Referral

CPHP recommends the referring party call CPHP to express the nature of the concerns and to learn first-hand about our intake and assessment process. The referring party can call our main number (303-860-0122) and ask to speak with a member of our clinical staff. This allows the Clinicians to gather information prior to speaking with the referred physician in order to gain an understanding of the nature and severity of the referral.

THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT THE CPHP PROCESS

  • Depending on case activity, there could be a 2 - 4 week wait for initial appointments. CPHP will speak with the referred physician to determine the level of clinical need and based on clinical urgency may be able to accommodate clinically urgent intakes.
  • CPHP is not a walk-in clinic or emergency clinic. If you think a physician is experiencing an emergency health situation, please refer him/her to the nearest Emergency Room.
  • After the referred physician has called CPHP, CPHP will NOT be able to discuss the case with the referring party until the physician has signed a Release of Information form, which typically occurs on the day of their intake appointment. CPHP can always receive new information regarding the referral without a Release of Information.
  • The best person to contact at CPHP about the physician’s case is the Clinician, as CPHP Associate/Medical Directors DO NOT have voice mail and work part-time at CPHP.
  • CPHP evaluations take place over time, typically 30 - 45 days but potentially up to 90 days (if an extended evaluation is warranted) and may involve multiple phone interviews with collateral sources, appointments with CPHP, and/or referrals for outside evaluation or testing. Please refer to the Evaluations section of our website for more details on this process.
  • CPHP is aware of the timeline often associated with residents/workplaces, such as probation or contract renewal. We are committed to working with the physician and referral party to complete these evaluations in a timely manner. To the extent possible, CPHP can opine on a physician’s skill and safety to practice after the initial intake and while the evaluation is underway.
  • For Resident Physicians: It is the referred resident physicians’ responsibility to follow up with CPHP in a timely manner and keep CPHP apprised of any changes in their status. Lack of contact with CPHP or failure to assist CPHP in completing your evaluation could impact your position at your training program.

CPHP recommends that the referring party compose a letter to the physician who is formally referred to CPHP.

This letter should include the following:

  • Specify the reason for referral to CPHP
  • Provide the timeline that the physician has been given to make contact with CPHP
  • Provide a timeline to schedule an appointment
  • You may decide to mandate that the physician sign CPHP Release of Information forms to specific individuals in order to facilitate the evaluation
  • You may choose to include administrative/workplace consequences for the physician should they choose not to comply with the CPHP evaluation and/or treatment and monitoring recommendations.

Please consult with a Clinician prior to sending any additional documentation you think would be helpful to our evaluation. Mandating a referral in writing is optimal.

A template for a formal referral letter can be accessed via Formal Referral Letter Template. CPHP suggests that the referring party, and others in leadership positions, meet with the physician to review the content of this letter. Please send this letter to CPHP at fax 303-860-7426.

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