Our general surgery contract attorneys can review your contract, identify the areas that could improve, and assist you in negotiating the best general surgery contract possible.
We take best practices from the American Board of Surgery and ensure that each physician that requests our assistance receives the following:
- Available in any state
- Flat-rate pricing with no hidden costs (reasonable physician contract lawyer cost)
- Review of your proposed employment agreement
- Phone consultation with our lawyer, reviewing the agreement term by term
- Follow up with a review of the needed clarifications of the general surgery contract
General Surgery Contract Attorney
A thorough contract review can benefit new residents, attending physicians, doctors entering their first employment contract, or established physicians looking for new employment. By employing an experienced attorney for your representation, you can ensure that you will be able to fully understand the extensive and complex wording included in your contract.
By having a complete understanding of agreements, you will be in a better position to decide whether or not you want to enter into the medical contract that will affect your career life for years to come.
Contract reviews will provide general information and specific details about your specialty and location.
We can provide a physician employment contract attorney from post-residency to late career.
Important Terms in an Agreement or as an Independent Contractor
The present-day conclusion is simple: physicians should only enter into agreements by having the agreement reviewed by legal counsel. There is too much at risk for a physician to take medical contract matters into their own hands. In addition to the specific professional implications, terms of medical contracts can significantly impact a physician’s family, lifestyle, and future.
There are many important terms and clauses in medical contracts which can present complex and diverse issues for physicians, including:
- Non-compete clauses
- Inadequate professional liability insurance and tail coverage
- Unfavorable call schedules
- Practice support
- Production Bonuses (RVU, net income, or hybrid structures)
- Not enough paid time off (PTO) or Vacation time
- Biased Termination Provisions (With or Without Cause)
- Continuing Medical Education (CME)
- Dues and Fees (AMA, Health Care Board)
Breach of Contract with a Health Care Practice
If a doctor breaches an employment contract, it means they have failed to fulfill the terms of their agreement with their employer. The consequences of a contract breach will depend on the contract terms and laws of the jurisdiction where the agreement was made.
Possible consequences of a breach of contract by a doctor could include financial penalties, such as damages or lost wages. The doctor may also be required to return any benefits they received under the contract, such as a signing bonus or relocation expenses.
Termination of Contract
In some cases, the employer may be able to terminate the employment contract early due to the breach. If the breach is severe enough, the employer may also be able to pursue legal action against the doctor for damages. It is crucial for the doctor and the employer to carefully review the terms of the employment contract and seek legal advice if there are any questions or concerns about the terms of the agreement.
General Surgeon Career Tips
As a general surgeon, your expertise plays a crucial role in providing essential healthcare services. Alongside delivering top-tier patient care, there are several approaches you can take to augment your professional earnings. Here are some valuable tips:
- Pursue Subspecialization: General surgery is a broad field with many subspecialties like trauma surgery, colorectal surgery, breast surgery, endocrine surgery, and more. Gaining additional qualifications in these areas can make you more marketable and can result in higher earnings. Organizations like the American Board of Surgery (ABS) offer various subspecialty certifications.
- Stay Current with Advances in Surgery: Surgical techniques, technologies, and best practices are continually evolving. Staying up-to-date with these advancements can increase your value as a surgeon, leading to enhanced earnings. Resources like American Journal of Surgery provide valuable, cutting-edge information.
- Efficient Practice Management: Proper management of your surgical practice, such as effective patient scheduling, accurate billing, and minimizing overhead costs, can significantly boost your earnings. Consider investing in robust practice management software to streamline these processes.
- Expand Your Services: Incorporating additional services, like telemedicine consultations or post-operative care, can broaden your patient base and increase your earnings. Moreover, offering a comprehensive care package can make your practice a preferred choice for patients.
- Participate in Leadership Roles: Taking up leadership roles within your hospital, local medical associations, or national surgical societies can enhance your reputation and visibility in the field, which can lead to additional financial opportunities.
- Consider Locum Tenens Work: Locum tenens positions can provide a substantial supplement to your income. They typically offer higher hourly rates and flexible schedules, and there are agencies that specifically facilitate locum tenens work for surgeons.
- Publish Research and Articles: Sharing your knowledge and expertise by publishing your work in reputable journals or platforms such as Medscape can boost your reputation as a thought leader in your field. This can lead to invitations for speaking engagements, consulting opportunities, and other revenue-generating activities.
- Maintain Work-Life Balance: While striving for professional growth and maximizing income, it’s crucial to maintain a healthy work-life balance. Burnout can significantly impact your productivity and mental health, so ensure you take time for self-care.
By integrating these strategies into your practice, you can enhance your earning potential while continuing to provide excellent patient care.
A Better Future Through Professional Contract Review
Employee or physician contracts are all unique. However, nearly all healthcare contracts for healthcare providers should contain several essential terms. If these contracts do not spell out the critical terms, disputes can arise when there is a disagreement between parties regarding the details of the specific term. For instance, if the doctor is expecting to work Monday through Thursday and the employer thinks it’s Monday through Friday. Still, the particular workdays are absent from the contract—who prevails?
Employment Agreement Checklist
Spelling out the details of a physician’s job is crucial to avoid healthcare contract conflicts during the employment contract term.
Below is a checklist of important terms that contracts should contain (and a brief explanation of each term generally discussed in negotiations):
- Practice Services Offered: What is the clinical patient care duties? Is there time for a review of administrative tasks? How many patients is the physician expected to see?
- Patient Care Schedule: What days and hours are employees expected to provide patient care per week? What is the surgery schedule? Are employees involved in the planning of their schedules?
- Locations: Which facilities will the employer schedule the employees to provide care at (outpatient clinic, surgical sites, in-patient services, etc.)?
- Outside Activities: Are employees permitted to pursue moonlighting or locum tenens opportunities? Does a physician need permission from the employer before accepting medicine-related positions?
- Disability Insurance: Is disability insurance provided (short-term and long-term)?
- Professional License: Will the practice offer reimbursement for licensing? Will an advisor be provided?
- Practice Call Schedule: How often is the employed physician on call (after-hours office call, ASC, hospital call (if applicable))?
- Electronic Medical Records (EMR): Will the employer provide training resources or time to review the system before delivering care?
- Base Compensation: What is the annual base salary? What is the pay period frequency? Does the base compensation increase over the term of the agreement? Is there a yearly review or quarterly review of compensation? Is there a group management relationship?
- Productivity Compensation: If there is productivity compensation, how is it calculated (wRVU, net collections, patient encounters, etc.)? Is there an annual review?
- Practice Benefits Summary: Are standard benefits offered: health, vision, dental, life, retirement, etc.? Who is the advisor of human resource benefits?
- Paid Time Off: How much time off does the job offer? What is the split between vacation, sick days, CME attendance, and holidays? Is there an HR guide?
- Continuing Medical Education (CME): What is the annual allowance for CME expenses, and how much time off do they offer?
- Dues and Fees: Which business financial expenses are covered (board licensing, DEA registration, privileging, ASA membership, Board review)?
- Relocation Assistance: Is relocation assistance offered? What are the repayment obligations if the contract is terminated before the expiration of the initial term?
- Signing Bonus: Is an employee signing bonus offered? When is it paid? Does the employee have to pay it back if they leave before they complete the initial term? Are student loans paid back? Is there a forgiveness period for student loans?
- Professional Liability Insurance: What type of liability insurance (malpractice) the employer offers: claims made, occurrence, self-insurance? License and litigation defense? Can you negotiate tail?
- Tail Insurance: If tail insurance is necessary, who pays for it when the agreement terminates?
- Term: What is the length of the initial term? Does the agreement automatically renew after the initial term?
- For Cause Termination: What are the grounds for immediate termination for cause? Is a review provided to dispute the termination?
- Without Cause Termination: How much notice is required for either party to terminate the agreement without cause?
- Practice Post-Termination Payment Obligations: Will the physician receive production bonuses after the agreement terminates?
- Non-Compete: How long does the non-compete last, and what is the prohibited geographic scope?
- Financial Retirement: Is a financial retirement plan offered?
- Non-Solicitation: How long does it last, and does it cover employees, clients, patients, and business associates?
- Notice: How is the notice given? Via hand delivery, email, US mail, etc.? Does it have to be provided to the employer’s attorney?
- Practice Assignment: Can the employer assign the agreement? Will the healthcare agreement require ongoing compliance with a new employer?
- Alternative Dispute Resolution: If there is a conflict regarding the contract, will mediation or arbitration be utilized? What is the standard attorney review process for disputes? Who decides which attorney oversees the process?
Best of Doing Physician Contract Reviews for a General Surgeon
Many doctors wonder: Do I need a physician employment contract lawyer near me? Coming into a new organization with a favorable contract can put the physician in a positive financial situation for years to come. Before signing the most important contract of your life, contact an experienced General Surgery contract attorney with Chelle Law today.