Physician CME Reimbursement

Physicians must continue their education in the medical field by attending Continuing Medical Education (CME) courses. The cost of these courses can burden an individual physician’s wallet; thus, Physician CME Reimbursement is necessary. Many employers will cover some or all of the cost of CMEs for their employees to reduce this burden. It’s important to understand physician compensation models to grasp how these reimbursements might be structured.

Continuing medical education (CME) is a type of continuing professional development that helps physicians stay updated with the latest developments in their field. Continuing medical education can be done online, on-site, or through other means such as books and journals. The American Medical Association is an excellent resource for this.

Continuing medical education is not just for physicians; it also includes nurses, pharmacists, dentists, physical therapists, and other professionals in healthcare fields. Continuing medical education can help people keep up-to-date on new treatments and technology while keeping them out of trouble regarding ethical issues within their profession.

Continuing Medical Education has many benefits, so read this article to learn more!


CME Courses

Continuing Medical Education can help physicians keep up-to-date on new treatments and technology while keeping them out of trouble regarding ethical issues within their profession. Continuing Medical Education has many benefits, so read this article to learn more!

As a doctor, you know the importance of continuing medical education to stay current with the latest advancements in your field. Continuing medical education can be done online, on-site, or through other means such as books and journals; some people might take courses offered by colleges where they can earn credits towards getting a degree if they want one. It is essential for physicians, nurses, pharmacists, dentists, physical therapists, and other healthcare professionals.

The requirements are variable but typically require 20 hours per year, with many employers requiring more than 40 hours annually.

A sponsoring organization often provides credit for completed CME activities. For example, a medical association will provide credit for time spent listening to presentations at their annual meeting – and this information can be used on the physician’s CV or in seeking out new employment opportunities with other organizations. Knowing how to negotiate a physician employment contract could be beneficial in these circumstances.

CME Reviews

At a CME conference, the physician will see many lectures and posters on different topics in their field. Continuing medical education is an opportunity to hear from experts about a topic that can be difficult to stay up-to-date with without reading extensively.

A conference may also have opportunities for networking, sharing experiences, and discussing new developments in one’s practice area with other physicians who specialize in the same type of care as you do –

Most CME conferences offer more than just talks and posters:

  • They often include hands-on workshops where participants learn how to apply necessary information learned during previous sessions.
  • Lunchtime discussion panels provide attendees the chance not only to discuss what has been presented but also to voice their opinions publicly for feedback.
  • Social events are another way that some organizations foster lasting relationships.


What Expenses are Paid for?

  • Travel
  • Meals
  • Lodging
  • Conference Entrance Fees

How Much Will the Employer Pay for CME?

A recent survey revealed that employers often spend between $1500 to $4,000 per year in reimbursements for expenses.

Virtual Continuing Medical Education Conferences

Due to the recent pandemic, many continuing medical education conferences are being held remotely, negating the need for travel reimbursements. 

Medicine Licensing Board Requirements for Physicians

Each state licensing board requires certain Continuing Medical Education credits to be completed yearly for a physician’s license to stay valid. To get these Continuing Medical Education credits, physicians might have to take courses on new medical developments or participate in activities supervised by the board of directors at their place of employment or volunteer work. The American Board of Medical Specialties offers detailed guidelines on these requirements.

CME hours are reported on Continuing Medical Education (CME) certificates that employers can print and share. Continuing medical education is typically offered in a number of formats, including live events, online courses or webinars, journal articles, books, and conference proceedings.

The physicians will need to report their CME credits earned according to the guidelines set forth by their state board. A physician may choose from one format for completion, such as attending two lectures at an annual meeting, while another physician might prefer completing twelve three-minute videos over six months time period; these options reflect different levels of learning intensity, but both would qualify as reporting 12 hours for this example year since they represent equivalent academic value.

Without Cause Termination for Physicians

Nearly every employment contract contains a provision that allows either party to terminate the agreement for any reason with a certain amount of notice to the other party. The typical amount of notice is either 60 or 90 days. Therefore, the initial term of the agreement is meaningless if either party can terminate the agreement for any reason at any time with proper notice.

Terminating employees is an important business decision. There are two types of terminations: with cause and without cause. To fire someone for violating company policies or committing unethical acts can be justified as termination with cause. However, firing them for poor performance alone may not be enough to discharge the employee; this type of dismissal should instead fall under “termination without call.” You must understand which kind you are terminating before deciding whether or not it would have adverse consequences in other departments within your organization.

Terminating an employee without cause is a common practice among private employers. This type of dismissal can occur for several reasons, such as budget problems or operational restructuring and downsizing.

The phrase “termination with cause” might be more accurate since the employer has grounds to fire someone who isn’t performing up to expectations or meeting certain criteria laid out in their contract; however, they do have this right under work at-will laws present in some form across all 50 states unless moving forward would violate state or federal employment statutes.

For Cause Termination

Companies usually have an employee handbook to outline the standards of behavior expected from their employees. A separate code of conduct may also be in place, outlining specific incidents for termination should they happen within a company or on its premises. Common causes that lead to immediate dismissal include violence and drug abuse, but theft is not uncommon either, as well as sexual harassment depending upon the severity and number of offenses committed by one individual.

The more severe cases typically result in automatic termination with lesser violations which might require progressive warnings before finally being terminated if it reaches a point where other options are no longer viable.

Set Term of the Contract

Simply put, not all employees enjoy the same protections when it comes to employment. It is why it’s so important for individuals negotiating a contract to be fully aware of their options before committing themselves and executing on that dotted line. For example, an at-will employee can potentially get let go with no notice whatsoever if they don’t do what their employers want them to do—think back from your favorite show where someone gets fired because she didn’t sell enough lemonade in one day!

Meanwhile, some contracts specify fixed terms like two years or more; these agreements will detail specific reasons and probation periods (if applicable) for termination without cause should either party fail to uphold certain obligations set forth by this agreement.

When an employee must quit their job, they are obligated to give notice that the relationship is ending. It’s typical for a doctor to provide between 60 to 90 days’ notice before terminating employment so both parties can prepare accordingly.

An employment contract is a formal agreement between an employee and an employer in which they agree to work together. Fixed-term contracts are one type, but there are other types for jobs with more fluid timelines, such as hourly wages or commissions based on performance.

Employees can be terminated early in a fixed service contract if the employer provides valid reasoning and proof. However, employers must provide evidence that an employee was not fulfilling their obligations before termination can occur. For instance: If an employee wasn’t providing services agreed upon in a contract but had been given sufficient time for absences due to illness or injury, then they could cancel it without giving notice; however, if either party provides no reason, this would fall under “constructive dismissal.”

An employee who signed a fixed term of employment has certain rights when considering being dismissed from work earlier than expected based on agreement with the company during negotiation stages- one such right relates to whether or not duties were met as per the original terms set.

Contract Term Considerations

The term of the employment contract refers to how long the contract lasts. Most employment agreements are between 1 to 3 years, with automatic renewal after the initial term ends.

Contract duration clauses are often found in employment contracts to outline how long the contract will last. It is typically done indefinitely, but that could also be included if there was a specific date on when it would end. An example of this might include someone being hired with no specified term length and then coming back after they have completed their degree or reached some other goal set by both parties so that work can resume again more easily without having to start from scratch every time something happens outside their control like graduating college in four years instead of six because you were able to go part-time while working during your first two years before going full-time once classes stopped for summer break.

Using a duration clause when defining an agreement’s effective period would be wise. It can help you protect your interests should the contract need early termination and also helps clarify what type of early termination is possible for both parties involved. It includes things like whether or not it will end on its own accord at some point, if there are any specific events that trigger an automatic expiration date (such as a breach), and more!

When creating a contract, both parties should know what the terms are. If there is a duration clause in place, it’s common for either party to be able to renew with one another if they desire. And as long as you spell out your conditions within the duration clause, this can also prevent any confusion about when their time will expire and how much notice must be given before termination of service takes effect.

Only some contracts have an exact end date, but those usually allow flexibility for both parties, who may desire to continue after expiration or wish not to terminate before its conclusion. You could always include these personal clauses in the main document, explaining them clearly so everyone knows where they stand at all times- including yourself!


Physician Employment Agreement Review

Contracts are a pervasive and obligatory part of nearly all business and legal transactions. Well-drafted contracts help to enumerate the responsibilities of the involved parties, divide liabilities, protect legal rights, and ensure future relationship statuses. These touchstones are even more crucial when applying their roles to the case of a physician employed by a hospital, medical group, or other health care provider. While contract drafting and negotiation can be long and arduous, legal representation is a must to protect your rights.

The present-day conclusion is simple: A physician should only enter into a contract with the agreement reviewed by legal counsel.

There is too much at risk for a physician to take contract matters into their own hands. In addition to the specific professional implications, contract terms can significantly impact a physician’s family, lifestyle, and future. There are many essential contract terms and clauses which can present complex and diverse issues for any physician, including:

  • Non-compete clauses
  • Damages
  • Indemnification
  • Verbal guarantees
  • Insurance statements

Additionally, often the most influential terms and clauses in any employment contract are the ones that are not present. With the advent of productivity-based employment agreements, any physician must review an employment agreement before it is executed. Attorney Robert Chelle has practical experience drafting and reviewing physician contracts for nearly every specialty.

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 full and complete understanding of the contract, you will be in a better position to decide whether or not you want to enter into the agreement, which will affect your career life for years to come.

The financial benefits gained from having your contract reviewed and negotiated by an experienced healthcare attorney far outweigh the costs of a review. You are a valuable resource, and you should be treated and respected as such. Attorney Robert Chelle will personally dedicate his time to ensure that you are fully protected and will assist you in the contract process so that your interests are fairly represented.

Every physician contract is unique. However, nearly all contracts for health care providers should contain several essential terms. If these essential terms are not spelled out in contracts, disputes can arise when there is a disagreement between the parties regarding the details of the specific term. For instance, if the doctor expects to work Monday through Thursday and the employer expects the provider to work Monday through Friday, but the specific workdays are absent from the agreement, who prevails?

Spelling out the details of your job is crucial to avoid contract conflicts during the term of your employment. Below is a checklist of essential terms that contracts should contain (and a brief explanation of each term):

  1. Practice Services Offered: What are the clinical patient care duties? Are you given time for a review of administrative tasks? How many patients are you expected to see (like in pediatrics)?
  2. Patient Care Schedule: What days and hours per week are you expected to provide patient care? What is the surgery schedule? Are you involved in the planning of your schedule?
  3. Locations: Which facilities will you be scheduled to provide care at (outpatient clinic, surgical sites, in-patient services, etc.)?
  4. Outside Activities: Are you permitted to pursue moonlighting or locum tenens opportunities? Do you need permission from the employer before you accept those practice of medicine-related positions?
  5. Disability Insurance: Is disability insurance provided (short-term and long-term)?
  6. Medical License: Will the practice offer reimbursement for your license? Will an advisor be provided?
  7. Practice Call Schedule: How often are you on call (after hours office call, hospital call (if applicable))?
  8. Electronic Medical Records (EMR): What EMR system is used in medicine? Will you receive training or time to review the system before providing care?
  9. 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 an annual review or quarterly review of compensation?
  10. Productivity Compensation: If there is productivity compensation, how is it calculated (wRVU, net collections, patient encounters, etc.)? Is there an annual review?
  11. Practice Benefits Summary: Are standard benefits offered: health, vision, dental, life, retirement, etc.? Who is the advisor of human resource benefits?
  12. 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?
  13. Continuing Medical Education (CME): What is the annual allowance for CME expenses, and how much time off is offered?
  14. Dues and Fees: Which business financial expenses are covered (board licensing, DEA registration, privileging, AMA membership, Board review)?
  15. Relocation Assistance: Is relocation assistance offered? What are the repayment obligations if the Agreement is terminated before the expiration of the initial term?
  16. Signing Bonus: Is an employee signing bonus offered? When is it paid? Do you have to pay it back if you leave before the initial term is completed? Are student loans paid back? Is there a forgiveness period for student loans?
  17. Professional Liability Insurance: What type of liability insurance (malpractice) is offered: claims made, occurrence, self-insurance?
  18. Tail Insurance: If tail insurance is necessary, who will pay for it when the Agreement is terminated?
  19. Term: What is the length of the initial term? Does the Agreement automatically renew after the initial term?
  20. For Cause Termination: What are the grounds for immediate termination for cause? Is a review provided to dispute the termination?
  21. Without Cause Termination: How much notice is required for either party to terminate the Agreement without case?
  22. Practice Post-Termination Payment Obligations: Will you receive production bonuses after terminating the agreement?
  23. Non-Compete: How long does the non-compete last, and what is the prohibited geographic scope?
  24. Financial Retirement: Is a financial retirement plan offered?
  25. Non-Solicitation: How long does it last, and does it cover employees, patients, and business associates?
  26. Notice: How is the notice given? Via hand delivery, email, US mail, etc.? Does it have to be provided to the employer’s attorney?
  27. Practice Assignment: Can the employer assign the Agreement?
  28. 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 conflict? Who decides which attorney oversees the process?

Coming into a new organization with a favorable contract can put the physician in a positive financial situation for years. Contact Attorney Robert Chelle for assistance before signing the most important contract of your life.

Contact Chelle Law today if you have questions about your current CME reimbursement policy or want your employment agreement reviewed.


About Us

We are a dedicated team of legal professionals specializing in physician contracts at Physician Contract Review. With years of experience in the healthcare industry, we deeply understand the challenges faced by physicians when navigating complex employment contracts. Our mission is to ensure that our clients are protected and well-represented. We focus on providing sound legal advice tailored to your unique needs, empowering you to negotiate your contract with confidence. For more information or to schedule a consultation, please reach out to us today.

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