Are you a medical resident, fellow, or practicing physician looking to enter into a contract for employment? Do you have questions about whether a non-compete is valid and whether a proposed buy-in is reasonable? Do you have questions about your existing contract? Is your employer refusing to allow you to review the practice's books and records prior to your buy-in? Have you been terminated from your employment with a practice or hospital for suspicious reasons?
We can assist with the answers to these questions and can help you review the terms of your existing or proposed contract, although, when possible, it is much preferable to be involved as your attorneys before you sign a contract of employment. We can also assist you with choosing key areas to negotiate and negotiating your contract appropriately.
For Individual Physicians
Our firm also has developed a network of professionals for you to consider if you are concerned about the potential value of the medical practice you’re considering buying into and want an opinion on valuation (informal or formal appraisal).
We emphasize the term ‘key areas’ to negotiate because many employment contracts in today’s market are, well, less than negotiable. Unfortunately, sometimes practices seek what they feel are reasonable but what might actually be unreasonable restraints on your ability to compete with them post-employment. Many practices also require that you ‘buy in’ to the practice at a price that has little if any basis in the true value of the practice (and is more likely to be based upon what it cost the original members of the practice to establish the practice). Depending upon the position, it may be worth the price you’re asked to pay in terms of restrictions or literal sums, but in other instances, you may be better off by accepting another offer or opportunity.
With that said, one of the most important functions that an attorney can provide is assistance with understanding what your rights and duties under a proposed contract are. Even if we cannot reasonably negotiate the terms of a contract without sacrificing the offer itself, we can ensure that you enter into a proposed contract with a firm understanding of what your responsibilities are and what limitations you must endure.
As a firm, we work both with practices that hire physicians and other medical staff as well as individual physicians. In the vast majority of cases, the individual physician a group seeks to hire will have the same concerns as the group. Chiefly, the common concerns often revolve around contract duration, time off, call schedules, competition with the practice if the physician leaves, a partnership track and buy-in, managing liability and medical malpractice issues, and overall, what constitutes reasonable contractual terms.
We are firm believers in starting with a solid agreement that protects the practice’s interests by setting clear but reasonable limitations and expectations. In other words, we believe in fair and balanced agreements because, the practice is most likely to save resources by reducing the time and expense of initial negotiations and reducing the likelihood of a dispute during the term of the contract or after the contract expires.
Having a hard time collecting from that insurance company? Insurance contracts are frequently complex, and sometimes coverage is promised, but payment is not forthcoming. This is especially true in the area of oncology services where infusion therapy is often stated as covered, but payment may be withheld for one reason or another.
If you accept workers’ compensation cases, there are frequently disputes regarding whether the care rendered was reasonable and necessary or supported by evidence-based medicine. With the advent of network-based care in workers’ compensation, many of these cases must be resolved within the rules of the network. In the remaining instances, the State actually provides a forum within which to seek resolution of payment where there is a dispute.
In either instance, our firm might be able to assist you with attempts to recover unpaid sums owed for medical services rendered.