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Total Health Law Primer: How Medical Practices Can Properly Employ a Physician

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Video Transcript

Caitlin: Hi, I'm Caitlin Lentz. This Total Health Law video primer summarizes three tips for medical practices to properly employ a physician. Always have a written contract. For most employees, a written employment contract is not needed. For physicians, they are always essential. In the highly-regulated world of healthcare law, there are many reasons to memorialize the terms of physician employment in writing, including federal self-referral law, professional liability factors, and unique compensation considerations. So, always have a written contract.

Use language that is simple and clear. Clarity can be lost by making an employment agreement too complex and unwieldy, giving rise to interpretation disputes. Work with your lawyer to come up with simple, effective verbiage that properly expresses the employment terms. Doing so should reduce the risk of disputes.

Number three, don't overprotect. Restrictive covenants can be indispensable to a medical practice where a physician presents a real risk of unfair competition after the employment ends. But if unenforceable, restrictive covenants are no good. To ensure your non-compete agreements are effective and enforceable, it is crucial that such provisions be narrowly drawn to protect legitimate business interests. Ask your lawyer to make your non-compete agreements narrow to ensure they work properly. I hope you find these tips helpful.

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