Whether running a private medical practice or working under an employment agreement, you’ll have to sign numerous contracts. But, medical practice contracts are complex, and you have to secure yourself by hiring a physician contract lawyer to ensure every term is in your favor.
Physician contract lawyers understand the ins and outs of the medical business, and here are 3 ways they can help you:
- Review the contract clauses
- Negotiate the terms of the contract
- Ensure all the agreements are in writing
Failing to understand the terms of the contract can lead to litigation which can cripple your financial security. This post explores in detail why you need a physician contract lawyer and tips on how to find one. Keep reading to learn more.
How Physician Contract Lawyers Can Help You
Most physicians work between 60 and 80 hours per week, leaving little time for other activities. Since contracts are sensitive and have legal implications, having an attorney take over your contracts can give you peace of mind and save you time. Here are 3 ways an attorney can help you.
Review the Contract Clauses
Every contract is unique and has different clauses that you need to check keenly. Below you’ll find some common contracts in medical practice and the clauses the attorney must review.
Employment contracts may use vague language that may lure you into signing the contract because of the enticing paycheck. And later, you find yourself trapped in a draining working environment.
A physician lawyer goes through the contract to ensure every clause is fair for you and there are no hidden implications that will catch you by surprise in the future. Below are some of the clauses they check.
- Non-compete clause
- Termination clause
- Malpractice insurance clause
You’ll need to sign business contracts to start a private medical practice. You’ll interact with vendors for equipment, hospital supplies, insurance, and rentals.
A physician contract lawyer helps you go through such contracts to ensure they’re compliant with the law and seek the best interests of your institution and patients.
When you start a medical practice with one or more parties, you’ll need to have the legal groundwork to protect the interests of all stakeholders. A physician contract lawyer helps prepare the legal documents to ensure the partnership runs smoothly.
The lawyer determines:
- The profit-sharing ratio
- The decision-making procedure
- Patient acquisition process
- In the hiring process, if more doctors are needed
2. Negotiate the Terms of the Contract
It’s uncommon for your attorney to do the contract negotiation for you. But, their counsel goes a long way in ensuring you get what you want from the job. They help you set your priorities and guide you on how to negotiate to get the most out of your contract.
Avoiding negotiating in fear of appearing confrontational can cause you to lose on better deals such as salary increments. Although employers may not budge on some conditions, it’s good to present your case instead of assuming.
A contract negotiation attorney helps you to:
- Make the negotiation comfortable- Every employer has a unique style of communication. A contract lawyer helps you decide what language and means of communication to use.
- Have all the questions ready- A physician contract lawyer helps you prepare all the questions you need to ask and clauses which you need clarification. Doing so makes the negotiation process shorter.
- Find a justification for your requests- You should be ready to defend your requests. For example, you may negotiate a reduction of the non-compete clause period if you are settling in an area permanently.
- Keep the right attitude- A physician lawyer prepares you in advance for whatever might come. You may have a reasonable justification for your negotiation, but it fails to succeed. The right attitude gets you prepared to make compromises.
3. Ensure All the Agreements are in Writing
Contracts are legally binding documents that protect every party involved. Having all the contract terms written down and documented ensures there’s reference material should parties disagree. Confusion and disputes may arise if changes happen to the contract and remain unrecorded.
With a physician contract lawyer, you can avoid any breaches of the contract by having them record every detail of the contract. Written contracts ensure:
- There is proof in case of litigation
- The contract is enforceable
- You have protection when the other party fails to honor the agreement
- There is confidentiality between the parties
Tips for Finding the Best Physician Contract Lawyer
There’s so much that goes into choosing a physician contract lawyer. Since you’re paying for their services, you should ensure they give back the value of your money. Below are some tips to help you choose the best physician contract lawyer.
- Evaluate the lawyer’s experience and qualifications
- Research their online review to know what it is like to work with your selected physician
- Ask about their terms of charge and representation agreement
The medical practice involves signing different contracts which have legal implications. Missing small details can lead you to fines or cost you a career. A physician contract lawyer can help you understand the terms of a contract and keep your contacts organized.