Franchise Concierge Medicine

Franchise Direct Pay/Concierge Practice Contracts

Our business and healthcare law firm advises and represents physicians with respect to concierge franchises (e.g., MDVIP). With offices in Augusta and Atlanta, Georgia, the focus of our law practice is business and healthcare law.

“Concierge” medicine, also referred to as “direct pay” and “retainer based” practices, is the wave of the future as many doctors and patients seek to avoid or reduce red tape and complications associated with our third party payer healthcare system. If you are a doctor interested in exploring a franchise concierge practice opportunity, our law firm can help you evaluate regulatory and legal issues and protect your business interests.

Augusta Georgia Concierge Medicine Law Firm

Direct pay medicine is an exciting trend. To a degree, it is the way medicine used to and should be practiced: a two-party transaction involving a doctor rendering professional judgment and care and a patient receiving the benefit and paying the doctor directly. Without the involvement of an insurance plan, obviously the direct pay model would seem at first blush much less complicated than a medical practice built on multiple insurance plans. While the direct pay model certainly has significant benefits for doctors and patients, starting or converting to concierge medicine is not uncomplicated for any physician. Indeed, doing so can be complicated in certain respects, depending upon a physician’s particular circumstances and objectives.

Therefore, as an alternative, many physicians who aspire to have a direct pay practice look to franchise contracts for a turnkey package that may enable greater ease and certainty in establishing the new business. The benefits of a franchise concierge contract may include brand identity, administrative and set up services, and template policies and procedures.

However, when the franchising parties enter this type of arrangement, there are numerous issues that warrant meticulous legal care and attention for the physician. Some examples are:

  • Retain control over physician services. Corporate practice of medicine prohibitions under state law may be implicated by any arrangement where the medical practice does not have clear control of all physician services. To accomplish this objective, the contractual arrangement must clearly articulate an independent contractor relationship that does not bestow any control or input rights by the franchisor regarding medical or clinical services.
  • Protect Privacy. It is very important to ensure HIPAA compliance if due to the arrangement the franchisor could obtain access to any protected health information. At a minimum, a business associate agreement and a review of the arrangement by a qualified HIPAA or compliance consultant can ensure that HIPAA’s requirements are met.
  • Insurance protection. Both the franchisor and the medical practice must take particular care to ensure that medical malpractice risk is properly insured. Often the franchisor, to reduce its own liability exposure, will include a requirement that the medical practice carry particular professional liability and tail coverage. Additionally, the franchise contract between the parties may affect liability for professional acts based on what type of control the franchisor is given.

The area of concierge medicine is evolving in exciting ways and presents tremendous opportunities for physicians and healthcare related businesses, as well as great healthcare alternatives for many Americans. As with any healthcare business, thorough evaluation of applicable federal and state laws will help ensure legal compliance and minimize legal pitfalls.

Augusta Direct Pay Medical Practice Attorneys

If you have questions concerning concierge and direct pay practice options for your medical practice and would like to schedule a consultation, email us at info@hamillittle.com or contact us at the office nearest you.