Bringing Health Care Knowledge To Employment Contracts
The landscape of employment in the medical professions has significantly evolved in the past several years. More doctors are signing employment agreements with small specialty practices or operating a small practice with employees. Either way, you need attorneys with experience in both regulatory compliance and employment law to review and negotiate your contracts and ensure that proper policies and procedures protect your interests.
Armstrong & Associates has that expertise with attorney Mark Phelps. He has a Masters of Science degree in Health Care Administration and spent six years in health care management, including managing 10 department heads and over 450 employees. Since becoming an attorney in 1990, he has focused his practice in Texas on health law and related fields.
The Pitfalls Of Employment Contracts
A well-written employment contract can serve both sides of the agreement and keep the terms of employment defined and clear. Unfortunately, they can also pose risks to the unwary. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Contract dates – Make sure you understand exactly when the contract begins and ends and when you need to meet certain deadlines.
- Know who owns the practice – Texas law generally prohibits nonphysicians from employing physicians, with a few exceptions.
- Understand expectations – The contract should clearly define your duties, including any type of minimum workload and who dictates your standard of work and the fee structure.
- Fair wording – Make sure compensation, workload and call coverage are dispersed fairly among all physicians.
- Termination – Pay close attention to the terms under which your employer can terminate your contract.
In addition, be aware of noncompete clauses, sometimes referred to as covenants not to compete. These clauses limit your employment opportunities if you leave that employer. The employer must have a legitimate purpose for the noncompete and must limit the clause in terms of geographic area and scope.
At Armstrong & Associates, we have a deep knowledge of employment contracts of all types, including covenants not to compete and physician contracts. If your employer is asking you to sign an employment contract, make sure you have a knowledgeable attorney review it first.