Physician Contracting 101: Physician’s Duties and Responsibilities, by Paul Drey
By Bryan Wright
Greetings, and welcome to Part 2 of our six-part
series “Physician Contracting 101.” Again, my name is Paul Drey, and I am an attorney
with the Brick Gentry Law Firm. As I indicated in Part 1, much of my practice
deals with working with physicians or physician groups in regard to their business contracting
needs, part of that being the employment contract. In Part 2 of this series we are going to look
at what are some of the key provisions within your employment contract, and then we are
going to begin looking in detail specifically today, at what are the provisions, or what
are the requirements within a provision dealing with a physician’s duties and responsibilities.
So let’s begin by looking at some of the key provisions that occur and are identified within
your employment agreement. First, we’ll look at what are the Duties and
Responsibilities of the Physician. A second key provision deals with Compensation and
Benefits. Sometimes this will be an actual provision within the contract, and sometimes
it will be included as an Exhibit, where the whole compensation policy or package is set
forth. A third key negotiable provision deals with Buy-Ins. Another provision deals with
Professional Liability Insurance. We will also look at Non-Compete provisions as well
as some of the other provisions within the contract, in particular the Entire Agreement
provisions, wherein everything that is included within the contract itself, in the written
contract, becomes the contract, and nothing else. And finally, we will look at Termination,
and the provisions involved in the Termination provision.
What we will look at today, is looking at the Duties and Responsibilities that are identified
within your employment contract. These provisions sometimes seem quite innocuous, and not important,
but in reality they are very important, as it really sets forth in great detail what
you are going to be doing for the either the physician group, or the hospital itself. You
need to read this carefully to determine what are the expectations: Do you have an hourly
expectation set forth? Do you have a certain day provision set forth? You are also going
to have to look at what are your Call provisions. How often are you going to be expected to
participate in the Call coverage? Is it divided equally among the number of physicians there,
or, since you are going to be one of the newer physicians, do you carry a heavier burden?
You should know this going into the contract, and make sure that you are comfortable with
how this is going to be provided. You also need to take a look at in regard
to whether you are going to be able to do anything outside of your employment arrangement.
Many contracts have provisions that set forth your responsibilities and duties, and identify
that if you anything medically inclusive, you will not be able to provide those services.
For instance, if you are thinking about teaching, or providing locum tenens coverage, you will
need to make sure that you are able to do so under your contract. In many instances,
a contract provides that if you do provide teaching coverage or teaching responsibilities,
or you provide locum tenens coverage, that if you receive any compensation for those
services, they will go to your employer rather than to you. If you want to make sure that
this does not occur, you need to make sure that the language in your contract provides
that the stipend or the compensation that you receive, will actually be coming to you.
This has been Part 2 of our six-part series. I invite you to join us next time, when we
have Part 3 when we will look closely at Compensation and Benefits.