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What to Do About Wrongful Termination of a Medical Employment Contract

Posted by on Jan 18, 2019 in Wrongful Termination | 0 comments

It’s not easy to become a doctor or a practitioner of any medical field. You have to go through years of school, specialized training, and countless evaluations to get to where you are. For that reason, you want to make sure that you protect your rights as an employee. This is why you have to stand up for yourself if you think you have been wrongfully fired from your position as a medical practitioner. If you suspect that your recent discharge was unlawful, this concise guide will walk you through the process of what legal actions you can take:

 

Disputes Against the Disciplinary Board

  • You should go to the disciplinary board right away if you’re skeptical of the nature of the termination of your employment contract. The people on the board are the ones regulating the workplace standards and rules that are mentioned in the contract, so they are the first people you should talk to in this case. Once you have submitted your forms, the board will appoint a hearing date, which they will debrief you on the violation of the regulations. If you disagree with the initial judgment of the board, you can file for an appeal for the case to be reviewed again with additional evidence. The most common types of punishment the board can give out are suspension, termination, and resignation. Of all of these, the termination of a professional certificate is by far the most damaging one, and it could throw your career off course for years to come. If it’s uncalled for or unjustifiable for the alleged violation, you may be able to build a case to say that it’s a direct attempt to halt your advances in your career. This is the primary stage of your defense, and if the case isn’t settled here, you have the option to take it further down the legal process.

 

What’s next?

  • The next legal actions you can take are filing for arbitration and lawsuit to settle the dispute.

Arbitration

  • Arbitration is the process of negotiation through a standing judge, the arbiter, and it’s the preferred method of settling a dispute for many reasons. First of all, the cost of the arbitration process is less expensive, and it’s much more flexible than a lawsuit. You have more control over the process than if you were to go to court, and the process doesn’t have to go on the public record of either party. What’s more is that the arbitration process is done a lot faster than a state or federal court as it involves fewer agents from all parties. The main difference between arbitration and the court is that it’s very difficult to appeal the verdict of the arbitrator, unlike for the court system. However, the verdict is as binding as the court.

 

Lawsuit

  • If you believe that the termination of the contract was illegal in nature, you can file a lawsuit for the associated crime. In most cases, the filing of this nature is based on discrimination laws. You cannot terminate an employment contract based on the employee’s race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, and other personality traits that have nothing to do with professional conduct. Discrimination laws are serious matters, and if you’re fighting against an organization such as a hospital, it could be an uphill battle that takes years before it’s settled unless you have clear and binding evidence of the wrongful acts.

 

Listed below are the common types of evidence that are used in a discrimination case:

 

(a) Testimonies from advisors, colleagues, and patients as appropriate

 

(b) Evidence to rebut the employer’s claims against you (emails, video recordings, phone calls recordings, photos, documents, etc.)

 

(c) Evidence to show that other practitioners with similar performance scores can still maintain the job

 

(d) Evidence of achieving a high level of performance

 

Conclusion

Wrongful termination of a contract is a serious matter that has to be handled very swiftly and sternly. As a medical practitioner, you have the right to maintain your job if you haven’t broken the code of conduct. If there’s no good reason why your employer terminated your contract, then it’s possible that it was an unlawful act. As a citizen of a free country, you shouldn’t let the employer get away with treating their staff however they’d like. If you’re facing a disciplinary discharge, you may want to involve a professional attorney in your case. They can represent your interests and stand up for you in the court of law, and they will do their best to settle your case in the most favorable way possible.

Romanosky Law specializes in protecting individuals that have had a wrongful termination. Get in touch with us today to see how we can help.

 

 

Wrongful Termination – What it is and How to Deal with it

Posted by on Jan 11, 2019 in Law | 0 comments

Wrongful termination refers to when an employment contract is terminated — in other words, the employee is fired — for illegal reasons. The most complicated part about the judicial process of a wrongful termination case is determining whether the termination was truly illegal or whether it was simply unfair.

The employment contract is usually drafted to protect both the employer and the employee, and for the contract to be terminated, it has to be in accordance with the contract terms. If the terms are violated by either party, the other has to right to take it to court. The lawyer for this type of case will also have to determine whether the employer has broken a state or federal law in terminating the contract. A wrongful dismissal can be highly disruptive to a person’s growth and integrity in the future, which is why it must be taken seriously.

The same is true for physicians as well, as these professionals and many other medical practitioners work in a private medical group, office, or clinic. These private entities are practically a company in itself, and they must obey the employment laws just like any other type of business. We’ll be talking about employment contracts and what qualifies as an illegal termination of the employment contract in this article.

The employment contract

  • As briefly mentioned, an employment contract is a binding contract that determines what the employer and employee are expected to do. It also includes the conditions of employment, which if the employee violates, the contract can be terminated without any legal consequences.

This is to protect the employer, as you wouldn’t want to risk a court case every time you fire someone who has seriously broken the code of conduct or professional etiquette. It’s especially important in the medical industry, as a violation of medical standards can put patients at risk of injury, infection, and other serious issues. The employment contract should also include how the contract is to be terminated in detail so that there’s no confusion for what each party is expected to do if the contract is to be terminated prematurely.

Protection against discrimination

  • The employment contract will protect either party from being discriminated against due to their race, gender, age, body figure, and other things. It will also prevent the other party from taking actions against the bullied party in the case that they file for a complaint or report as well.

What should you do?

  • If you have recently been fired and think that the reasons for dismissal violated the legally binding contract, you will have to review it, first and foremost. Read the terms very carefully to see if the employer has violated any agreed upon clauses. If this is the case, it may be in your best interest to call an employment lawyer and discuss your next course of action with them.

Tips on how to work with a lawyer


You need to make sure that you are as honest and straightforward with your lawyer as possible. Every piece of evidence is on a timer, and they must be gathered as quickly as possible to ensure that the paperwork hasn’t expired or been terminated. It’s also beneficial for your case if you don’t involve too much emotion throughout the process, as that may cloud your judgment. You have to use logic and facts as the foundation for your decisions, as these things are tangible evidence that you can use to further your chances of winning the lawsuit.

Romanosky Law specializes in protecting individuals that have had a wrongful termination. Get in touch with us today to see how we can help.

10 Reasons Why You Should Have a Lawyer Review Your Severance Agreement

Posted by on Jan 8, 2019 in Law | 0 comments

Severance pay is worth a lot, especially if the job has a high base salary. It’s mandatory in some states, which means you can get guaranteed severance pay after you leave a job. If you’re quitting a job, but you aren’t sure whether your severance agreement is fair or not, you can have an attorney review the agreement for you. Here are ten areas in which an attorney can help when it comes to your severance agreement situation:

  1. The Severance Payment:

Naturally, the severance payment should be included in the agreement, but in most states, the employer must pay this money regardless of whether the agreement is signed. An attorney can help to review the fairness of the severance according to the nature of the job.

  1. The Money the Employer Owes:

Every entitled benefit can be claimed for monetary value, and if the employee has unclaimed benefits that are not reflected in the severance, a lawyer may be in order. They can help to negotiate with the employer to ensure that the departing employee gets everything that they deserve.

  1. Employee Benefits:

Some benefits may not be terminated at the end of the employment contract, and the employee should retain these benefits. If the employer seizes these benefits and withholds them from the employee, the employee should look for a lawyer to deal with the issue.

4. The Release of Claims:

Sometimes, the employer will claim something from the departing employee. This is a very common occurrence, and sometimes the claim is fair, and sometimes it’s not. If the claim is a violation of the employee’s rights, a lawyer can come in and negotiate for a release of those claims.

  1. Non-Disparagement and References:

Non-disparagement agreements are usually a part of a severance agreement. It’s an agreement in which the departing employee agrees not to disclose any confidential information of the former employer. An NDA can be rather restricting, and if it’s worded unfairly, it can prevent the career advancement of departing employee. An attorney can negotiate for a new NDA to ensure that both parties can have their rights reserved without losing any benefits.

  1. Integration Clauses:

Verbal agreements are not binding, and sadly, it’s very common to see an employer promise one thing verbally and turn around and do the complete opposite in the severance agreement. This is why if something is agreed upon, it has to be added to the severance clause right away to prevent the employer from wiggling out of their own promises.

  1. Proprietary Information:

The proprietary information of the employer should be protected by the severance agreement, but that doesn’t mean that all of it can’t be used by the departing employee. Some of the information can be used to improve the chances of the departing employee at the new position. An attorney can negotiate with the employer to allow the employee to use some of the information for their future employment.

  1. Non-compete Agreements:

Non-compete agreements are crucial for preserving the profit potential and trade secrets of a business, and it’s a good preventative measure that employers should take. That being said, an NCA can also be very restricting, as it can prevent the employee from advancing their career in the stated field for a long time. If the clauses and conditions are unfair, an attorney can negotiate for a reevaluation of the NCA so that both parties can reserve their rights without impeding on the others’.

  1. Confidential Information:

The employer has the right to preserve their confidential information, and that’s typically included in the severance contract. Yet, it’s normal for the family and friends of the departing employee to be anxious and curious about the departure, but the employee may not be able to talk about it. An attorney can negotiate with the employer to disclose some pieces of information to their close relatives.

  1. Cooperation Provisions:

There are legal proceedings that will follow the departure of the employee, and the severance agreements may bind the employee to cooperate with the process fully. This can be unfair in some cases, as “full cooperation” has as much legal binding power as a law enforcer’s orders. An attorney can negotiate the terms to ensure that the cooperation is reasonable and within the boundaries of the employee’s rights.

Severance agreements should be reviewed very carefully, as it’s a legal document that binds the employee to a course of action. If it’s worded in a way that takes advantage of the employee, it can be very restricting to their future growth and personal freedom. For this reason, it’s better to have an attorney review your severance agreements to ensure that it’s reasonable for both parties.

 

Romanowsky Law specializes in physician contract reviews to ensure that you are getting fair
employment – get in touch today to see how we can help.

What To Know About Physician Compensation Payment

Posted by on Jan 3, 2019 in Law | 0 comments

Fresh out of training, it’s hard to get your head around compensation. The modest stipend you’ve been making won’t prepare you for what you will earn now. This means you could either underestimate or dramatically overestimate what you think you’ll get. Some practices still base compensation on the physician’s share of collections, which is a pretty easy concept to understand. Increasingly, however, payment even in practices is based on productivity.

As a new physician, it can be hard to understand the concept of compensation claims & physician contracts. There are many questions that come up when you hear the term medical compensation, and in this article, we’ll aim to answer some of the ones you may have

 

Work Relative Value Units

 

  • Depending on your payment type, there are a few different ways a physician is paid, one of which is production evaluation through work relative value units (wRVUs). Each employer has a different set of wRVUs that a physician is expected to carry out, and this standard has to be consulted with the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA). As long as the reimbursement policy complies with MGMA standards, there shouldn’t be any problem.

There are six factors that MGMA takes into consideration when they’re reviewing the wRVUs: practice ownership, group type, geographic region, demographics, number of partners, and call responsibilities. These factors play a major role in how much you can get out of your compensation negotiation. It’s difficult to gauge how much you can expect to get paid, but these factors will give you a general idea of your salary range.

What You Need to Know About Compensation

  • The wRVUs can be considered as a commission, as you will still have a baseline salary. If your salary is quite high already, the practice may pay the physicians a fixed rate that isn’t based on their performance. If that’s the case, you shouldn’t expect the compensation to be very high either.

Your first-year salary doesn’t determine what you will get later on
The first year salary is not indicative of how much you will get later on, especially if the compensation plan of the practice is focused more on future growth and retention. On the contrary, some practices will actually offer you a high signing bonus, but they may limit your growth in some other ways. You will have to consider your options and think about how you would like to go about your salary situation going forward.

Keep your eye on productivity targets

  • You have to look at productivity targets realistically. You don’t want the practice to take advantage of you by setting unrealistic expectations that you can’t meet, as this is sadly a rather common tactic businesses use to increase productivity. If you feel like you’re being taken advantage of, you have to take a step back and reevaluate your position.

Income-based compensation can be quite difficult

If the majority of your salary and that of your coworkers depends on compensation, it will result in a very competitive work environment. You may have to work harder in these practices than you would in a practice where the salary plan is more lenient. The decision will depend entirely on how you choose to work, as every person has their own idea of a good work environment.

Different productivity targets for specialized practitioners

  • The productivity targets may be different for a specialized practitioner. They usually have fewer patients, but the nature of their work may be more complicated than a general physician. If you’re a special type of surgeon, for example, you will have to review your wRVUs to ensure that they are fair and attainable.

Romanowsky Law specializes in physician contract reviews to ensure that you are getting fair employment – get in touch today to see how we can help.

Three Mistakes Physicians Make When Litigating a Non-Compete Agreement

Posted by on Dec 13, 2018 in Physician Contract Tips | 0 comments

A non-compete agreement—sometimes referred to as “covenant not to compete”— is a contract agreement between the employer and employee or the business and the partner. The agreement is designed to restrict one party from working in the same profession and area for a certain amount of time, thus becoming a “non-competitor.” In the medical field, there are many trade secrets and other confidential information that has to remain unrevealed to protect the profitability of a practice.

When a breach of agreement occurs, litigation will ensue. To make sure that you win these litigations you need to avoid these three common mistakes:

1  Not Knowing Your Rights

  • Whether or not the agreement is going to be enforced depends on the contract terms. The court will base their decision on the reasonableness of the contract agreement. Although the specific laws on this matter might vary from state to state, the idea remains the same in all states.
  • Reasonable restrictions are more than likely to be upheld by the court, and a violation of these contracts are likely going to result in the breacher being penalized. For example, it is entirely within the practice’s rights to prohibit the employee from distributing confidential information such as patient records even after the termination of the employment contract.

As an employer, it is better to have a physician contract attorney draft the covenant for you to protect your business and to hold the contract violator accountable. On the other hand, the physician should also review the agreement with their attorney to ensure that the contract is fair and reasonable.

Having an unlicensed attorney draft and review your contract is a surefire way for you to be taken advantage of without a way to legally fight back.

What should I do?

  • Work with an attorney before signing the contract. If it comes to litigation, make sure you have a professional litigator on your side.

2  Not Appreciating the Time Frames Involved

  • The first step of the litigation process is to seek injunctive relief from a court before the first hearing. The whole point of this process is to obtain a restriction order from the court according to the covenant. It has to be done according to the time frame and court process. Most physicians are more familiar with the time frame of litigation for malpractice, which is significantly longer. Not abiding by the time frame of the issue at hand and failing to appear in court can leave you liable for a number of things – harsh penalties, damage costs, hefty fines, or even legal charges.

What should I do?

Be vigilant of the time frame and be sure to comply by the court’s regulations and time frame.

3 Not Knowing the Enforceability Regulations

  • The enforceability of the non-compete agreement depends on three factors: the time frame, the geographical location, and the type of practice. The reasonableness – subsequently the enforceability – of the contract will depend on these three factors. If the non-compete contract term is inconclusive, vague, or simply unreasonable, the likelihood of the contract being upheld will go down drastically.

For example, if the contract states: “The physician is unable to work in the medical field for two years after the termination of the contract,” the contract is unreasonable, and it can’t be legally enforced.

What should I do?

Consult your contract terms with an attorney prior to the litigation to review its enforceability.

Romanowsky Law specializes in Physician Contracts in the New Jersey & New York area – get in touch today to see how we can help.

Why It’s Important to Hire an Attorney to Review Your Physician Employment Contract

Posted by on Nov 26, 2018 in Physician Contract Tips | 0 comments

If you’ve received a job offer from a potential employer, make sure you don’t sign it before a lawyer has gone over it with you. Regulations surrounding the healthcare industry can be quite strict. This means that physician employment agreements contain things that may not be included in the physician employment contract.

It’s definitely worth your while to consult a lawyer who specializes in physician employment agreements. They may very well save you from coming up with the shorter end of the stick.

Wondering why you need an attorney who specializes in physician employment agreements specifically? It’s simple, really. There are two main reasons why you need a specialized lawyer to review your contract.

First of all, legal professionals who specialize in physician employer contracts probably know a lot about the health care industry in your area. They may even know the hospital or practice that you will be signing on to.

There’s also a chance that your attorney has reviewed and negotiated contracts for other physician clients who were offered jobs at the same place of employment. In such a case, your lawyer will have a better idea of the things that your employer will be willing to negotiate and what they won’t. They’ll also be able to guide you on the things that you should negotiate and what you should compromise on so that you don’t waste too much time.

Second of all, you get to consult your lawyer about various things about your potential employer and the market. You get a professional legal opinion about your potential employer, their reputation, their competence, their management team, and the way they have historically treated their employees. This information can be invaluable and may make or break your decision to sign on with them

 

How do I find a great attorney?

It isn’t too difficult to find an attorney who specializes in physician employment contracts. If you have absolutely no idea where to start, just get in touch with the state medical association. It’s important for you to work with an attorney who is licensed to practice law in the state where you’ll be working because there may be specific legal requirements in the area that you’ll have to comply to.

How much will it cost?

 


The cost of hiring an attorney to review your contract will vary greatly depending on your location. That being said, there are a few factors that may have an effect on how much you are charged. For instance, the fee arrangement may make a difference. Some lawyers charge by the hour and others charged by fixed rates. Some give you the choice.

The extent of the lawyer’s services will depend on what you specify. You may only want someone to review the contract, pinpoint any catches, and give suggestions on things you may want to negotiate while leaving the actual negotiation to you. This is a good way to keep legal fees down. If you want to ensure that you’re getting the best deal possible, however, you may want to hire an attorney to both review and negotiate the contract with your employer on your behalf.

Romanowsky Law specializes in Physician Contracts in the New Jersey & New York area – get in touch today to see how we can help.

 

How Medical Contract Lawyers Help Physicians Get a Fair Contract

Posted by on Nov 8, 2018 in Physician Contract Tips | 0 comments

How Medical Contract Lawyers Help Physicians Get a Fair Contract

romanowskt law contractsAs a general practitioner, it might not be the easiest thing to do. There are a lot of things you need to include in the contract, and the salary plan should be agreed upon beforehand. On the other hand, if you’re a healthcare firm and are looking to draft a contract for anything at all, you might find that it’s not easy to make it inclusive and thorough. This is why it’s in your best interest to work with a medical contract lawyer, no matter which side of the coin you’re on.

Comprehensive Medical Contract Services

Physicians, physician groups, medical business, and other attorneys have placed their trust and confidence in our firm for their most vital and sensitive contract issues. Our breadth of experience, regulatory knowledge, and foresight enable us to handle matters involving:
Independent physicians and medical practitioner groups have to worry themselves with a lot of legal issues. Some of these issues include medicine-specific agreements like medical director agreements and physician employment agreements, and some are not. More generalized contract issues include employment agreements, management agreements, leases, and billing agreements.

Without the proper knowledge on how to deal with these issues, it can cost the firm and the physician a ton of money. Listed below are some of the most common types of agreements that every physician has to deal with. A contract lawyer can assist any physician or firm to draft an inclusive and protective agreement that ensure that both parties are treated fairly.

Medical Director Agreements (MDA)

  • The MDA is a contract that regulates how the practice will be run and how the salary system, and what position each practitioner is assigned to do. These agreements are heavily regulated as to protect practitioners from being exploited by their employers. If the agreement is not well-drafted, it might not pass the state or federal regulation, which can result in the firm being fined or even shut down.

A good medical contract lawyer will be able to draft an agreement that abides by the law and helps to protect the interests of every party involved. This will save the firm from lawsuits and legal complications that can leave a detrimental effect on the firm.

Management Services Agreements (MSA)

  • Healthcare practices and physician groups often work with management services companies to take care of their infrastructures. This will allow the doctors and physicians to focus on treating the patients while the business people take care of the corporate side of things. An MSA is a contract that prevents the management service from taking advantage of the firm, and vice versa. The agreement includes everything, from how the how to handle the accounting/bookkeeping/collection functions, to how the billing collection is going to be done.

This is a guideline for how these transactions need to be done, and if one party violates the agreement, the other party can go forward with a lawsuit.

Physician Employment Agreements (PEA)

  • A healthcare professional needs to know what their extent of treatment ends. This is something that must be included in the PEA, as this will affect that medical firm as much as it does the patient. Here are some things that the PEA needs to include.

Ensure non-compete agreements are properly structured.

  • Ensure mutual indemnity when necessary. Employers often seek indemnity from employees against wrongful acts – but physicians may also need indemnity against wrongful acts of the employer, particularly if the employer is handling billing and collections. Provide for fair compensation. Compensation is far more complex than a base salary. Pay may be based on productivity, net patient collections, and other factors.

A PEA needs to include compensation policy for both the employer and the employee against wrongful acts from one another. The PEA will provide a guideline for each practitioner and what they’re expected to do. This is a tricky thing to do, as there are many factors to include, and each practitioner at each position is will perform different treatments. It means that a PEA needs to be redrafted for each healthcare specialist. Additionally, the PEA will also include the salary for the employee, as well as the payment plan. Some medical firms offer a full shared-profits salary plan while others go by performance or work hour.

Call Coverage Agreements

  • Call coverage agreements can ensure physicians are fairly compensated for providing emergency coverage to hospitals and emergency rooms. A medical contract lawyer can come up with an agreement draft that ensures that each party is treated fairly in any given situation.

Space, Equipment Leases & Purchase Agreements

Medical equipment and workspaces aren’t cheap. This is why there must be a purchase agreement and leases to ensure that the firm is not liable for anything other than their main responsibility to the venue.

These aren’t the only things that a medical contract lawyer can do for a medical firm, as they are proficient at any medical-related legal issues. If you’re having a problem with your medical contract, you should give a medical contract lawyer like Romanowsky Law a call.

The Benefit of Hiring a Contract Attorney

Posted by on Oct 25, 2018 in Physician Contract Tips | 0 comments

The Benefit of Hiring a Contract Attorney

benefits of contractEvery business should have a legal team to call on in times of trouble. There are so many reasons to do so. That being said, it can be rather expensive to hire a full-time employee in-house, particularly if you are a small business. In such a case, you may find a contract attorney to be a better option so that you can enjoy the resources and protections of a commercial lawyer without breaking the bank.

Lawyers who work for large law firms often have rather high hourly rates, especially when they specialize in commercial transactions and matters pertaining to intellectual property. There is a point when it is a better idea to hire an internal lawyer. Having said that, an in-house lawyer will cost a lot, especially if you are looking for one with enough expertise and experience to handle any legal issues you may run into. Besides their salary, you’ll have to pay for other employee benefits and overhead costs.

There are certainly times to hire a full-time in-house employee and times when it would be better to hire one on contract. Today, we’ll be looking at contract attorneys in particular. Here are the benefits of hiring a contract attorney:

What is a contract attorney?

  • Contract attorneys are legal professionals hired either as employees or independent contractors to a company. Most of the time, this professional is hired for a predetermined period of time, such as the duration of a project. In the case that they are contracted as an employee, they are paid either at an agreed-upon salary or an hourly rate. The company is usually required to withhold taxes on said attorney and in some cases offer fringe benefits.

In the case that they are contracted as an independent contractor, however, the company is not required to withhold taxes or offer benefits. Instead, they will compensate the individual based on a contract rate. This is a popular option for companies that only need legal support for a certain duration or for a particular project.

Contract lawyers are often preferred over in-house lawyers or law firms because this allows the company the flexibility of hiring a legal professional with a particular specialization or of coping with additional demands.

What are a contract attorney’s duties and responsibilities?

  • There are several areas in which a contract attorney can be of service. They often handle tasks of general counsel such as corporate governance, regulatory compliance, employment law, and contract review and drafting.
  • Regarding corporate governance, you can consult your contract lawyer on federal and state governance procedures. It isn’t uncommon for such matters to be complicated and since your company can suffer major consequences if the procedure isn’t followed, it’s always safer to have a lawyer to guide your steps.
  • Every business is required to follow a certain set of rules and regulations. Your contract lawyer will ensure that your company complies with these regulations.

 

When it comes to employment law, your contract lawyer could be your lifesaver. The laws pertaining to state or federal employment can get rather complex and that makes hiring and firing a risky business at times. If you don’t comply with the regulations that you are subject to, you could be facing a lawsuit. Your contract attorney is able to advise you during the process to ensure that your business is protected.

There is a great deal of paperwork that every business has to handle. Contracts and other legal agreements can completely change a situation. A contract attorney will read past all the complicated legal jargon and make sure you are signing a solid contract.

Other matters like litigation and major transactions are usually not handled by contract attorneys. Most of the time, outside counsel will be involved in them. When it comes to litigation, contract lawyers may offer counsel during the process but not take further action. Major transactions like equity funding, mergers, acquisitions, and other such things require more specific expertise that your contract attorney was not hired for.

What are the benefits of a contract attorney?

  • First of all, a contract attorney can cost considerably less than a full-time employee or an independent contractor. This is because you do not have to pay the hidden costs of a full-time employee such as fringe benefits.

Another great thing about contract attorneys is that you don’t have to keep them on long-term. They simply serve you for the predetermined duration.

Finally, contract attorneys often have specific skill sets that you may find useful. If you require unique skills, you may be able to find a contract attorney to offer those skills without having to hire a full-time professional.

Romanowsky Law specializes in physician contract reviews to ensure that you are getting a fair employment – get in touch today to see how we can help.

What To Look For In Your Medical Contract

Posted by on Oct 19, 2018 in Physician Contract Tips | 0 comments

Every medical professional eventually has one payer that is rather difficult to manage. In such a situation, you’ll often find that you can’t use the contract to help you – that is unless you were involved in negotiating it. If the relationship does fall apart, you may have trouble getting the money that you lost. This is why it’s so important to never let a payer have you sign a physician contract that you never had a say in. The professional relationship goes both ways, and you should know how to negotiate terms that both parties can agree on. Here are some things you should know:

Stay away from physician contracts with an indefinite life

A lot of contracts incorporate an evergreen clause, which basically means that the contract renews indefinitely until something happens and results in termination by one or the other party. There may even be contracts that are so hard to terminate that you are never able to, even if you want to.

An evergreen clause on its own doesn’t mean you need to throw out the entire contract. However, it does mean that you should look for a defined number of days needed for either party to effect a chance, an acceptable termination period, and an opportunity for either party to correct a breach of contract within a certain number of days.

Limit the credentialing period

A lot of new doctors have to deal with tons of denials and adjustments on credentialing issues. Sorting out such adjustments can take anywhere from a couple months to an entire year! When you limit the credentialing and enrollment process in your contract, however, you’ve got something working on your side. Make sure the physician contract states the elements required by the payer as well as the forms set to be completed. Include a deadline that requires the payer to review then accept and deny an application within. In the case that the enrollment process is slower than anticipated, make sure the payer is able to guarantee that they will pay claims between the completion of the enrollment process and the closing of the specified period.

If the payer doesn’t agree to process claims between the periods, see if it is possible for the enrollment application to be submitted before the physician’s enrollment. This will keep you safe from losing out, especially during the beginning period of the new physician’s employment.

Have a firm grasp of discounted payment rates

The payment process in the medical industry can be rather challenging to understand. There often aren’t any fixed prices. Instead, the payer often reimburses you on a certain discounted rate. It’s crucial for you to understand these discounted payment rates in order to streamline your payment process.

Discounted payment rates are also often referred to as “allowable rates” because it is the money that your practice is permitted to collect. You have to know how to steer clear of contracts that only state that the payer rates will be set at 115% of Medicare. You need more detail than that. Ask for a payment formula or even a report of the procedure codes that will be used. Make sure the payer is able to produce its rate for each. It’s also useful to request all their payment policies, especially the recognition of procedure codes and the related guidelines.

There are also quite a few states that demand that payers grant physicians’ requests for their rate schedules. Make sure the payer knows to inform you before there are any changes made to the rate schedule. If you are not informed, you should be paid the difference with interest on top.

Make lump-sum reimbursements an option for underpayments

A lot of medical clinics don’t get paid all the money that they are due. When negotiating a contract, try to include the ability to ask for lump-sum reimbursements so you don’t have to waste time resubmitting every single claim.

Define medical necessity

Oftentimes the term medical necessity is understood differently between different parties. A payer may not define it the same way as you would. To avoid any issues related to this in the future, make sure the definition of the term is made clear beforehand.

Romanowsky Law specializes in Physician Contracts in the New Jersey & New York area – get in touch today to see how we can help.

A Beginners Guide To Contract Negotiation

Posted by on Oct 12, 2018 in Physician Contract Tips | 0 comments

A Beginners Guide To Contract Negotiation

contract negotiationWhile it’s true that young physicians get paid less than an experienced one, this doesn’t mean that you should just accept any deal. When you are negotiating contract terms, remember that everything can be adjusted to fit both parties’ needs.

Everything that’s agreed upon during the interview should be in the physician contract, including other benefits and work terms. You shouldn’t hold a verbal agreement to be final. Make sure that every important element of your demands is included in the contract before you sign the contract. If a legal issue is to arise, the court typically upholds the terms of the contract, which is why you have to make extra sure that you have those details in the contract.

Now that the obvious has been stated, let’s move on to some other elements of how you should approach a contract negotiation.

Consider Utilizing An Attorney

  • If you aren’t sure about how you should approach a physician contract negotiation, you should consider consulting an attorney. They will act on your behalf to protect your interests. It might seem excessive at first, but if you consider that you will be saving yourself from tons of headaches in the future, it might be worth it. You are securing your end of the deal so that your payment, compensation and work conditions are in accordance with what is stated in your contract. You should choose an attorney who has at least three years of experience working with physician contracts and is familiar with the laws of the country or state you plan to practice in.

Identify Expectations

  • You need to know what you are expecting from a facility, and the facility should know what to expect of you. This will help you form a fair basis of work condition that is in line with what you plan to do. Make sure you are clear about how you want to approach overtime payment, work hours, expected operations and patients per day. Also, if you are expected to do extra administrative or non-medical work, it should be included in your contract, especially if it will hinder your ability to treat patients.

Some facilities will allow you to work extra jobs. If you want to work in locum tenens, then you should make sure that the facility allows it.

Compensation

  • This is the obvious one. Each practice and facility have different compensation plans that promote different work environment. Some pay you a flat salary with bonuses, some pay hourly, some is bill-based and some pays in equal-share of profits. There are many different types of payments, so you need to make sure that you understand how they are paying you. It will affect how you work, how the work environment will be and how you are expected to treat patients, so make sure the payment plan is mentioned in your contract.

Benefits

  • You should know what the facility is offering. From benefit packages, vacation time, sick leaves, parental leave, military duty, and more. Make sure that it’s up to the standard of other practices, as you might be missing out on a better opportunity or being taken advantage of if you sign with a practice that provides significantly fewer benefits.

Also, make sure that you have a malpractice insurance to protect yourself if a lawsuit is to follow your treatment. Your company should detail what the insurance is going to cover you in the case of a malpractice. Covering the cost of CME and other professional fees are additional benefits you can look to negotiate.

Contract Terms and Termination

Lastly, make sure that the contract length is clearly defined, along with the terms of the contract termination. Covered causes should also be defined. The agreed upon non-compete clauses should be mentioned in the contract and the how disputes are handled should be identified. If you are to go to court for any reason, the contract term could be what saves you from having to pay large sums of money. Once the contract is signed, be sure to review it with your employer once a year.

Romanosky Law specializes in physician contract reviews to ensure that you are getting a fair employment – get in touch today to see how we can help.