Chelle Law provides Nurse Practitioner Contract Attorney services for nurse practitioners entertaining a new job or renegotiating an existing nurse practitioner contract. You have worked hard to develop your skills and deserve to advance in your professional career with a fair market value employment agreement. So, when you are about to enter into a nurse practitioner employment contract, getting a nurse practitioner contract review before signing with a new business is vitally important. The terms of the nurse practitioner contract will impact your practice and your day-to-day life. Attorney Robert Chelle can review your contract’s content, identify the areas that could be improved and assist you in negotiating the best nurse practitioner contract possible. Each nurse practitioner that requests Mr. Chelle’s assistance receives:
- Available for review in any state
- Flat-rate pricing, with no hidden financial costs for the review of the NP contract
- Lawyer review of your proposed NP contract or contracts
- Phone consultation reviews, analyzing the contract term by term
- Follow up with a review of the needed clarifications for the contract
Employed by Private Group or Hospital
These touchstones are even more crucial when applying their roles to the case of a nurse practitioner employed by a hospital, medical group, or other health care provider. The present day conclusion is simple: A nurse practitioner should not sign contracts without having the content of the contract reviewed by legal counsel. For instance, is it AANP compatible, lawyer litigation responsibilities, health law terms, healthcare malpractice protection, management structure, etc. Important questions include:
- What Are the Highest Paid Nurse Practitioners?
- Should an NP Take a Position as an Independent Contractor?
- Is Getting Your Nurse Practitioner Worth It?
- Do Nurse Practitioners Make as Much as Doctors?
Nurse Practitioners Contract Checklist
Every nurse practitioner employment contract is unique. However, nearly every nurse practitioner contract for health care professionals should contain several essential terms. If these essential terms are not spelled out in the employment contract, disputes can arise when there is a disagreement between the employer and employee as to the details of the specific term. For instance, if the NP is expecting to work at the practice Monday through Thursday and the employer is expecting the provider to work Monday through Friday, but the specific workdays are absent from the contract; who prevails? Spelling out the details of your job is crucial to avoid conflicts during the term of your employment. Below is a checklist of essential terms that employment contracts should contain (and a brief explanation of each term):
- Services Offered: What are your patient care duties? Are providers given time for administrative or planning tasks?
- Patient Care Schedule: What days and hours per week are providers expected to provide care?
- Locations: Which facilities will you be scheduled to provide care at (outpatient clinic, surgical sites, in-patient services, etc.)?
- Outside Activities: Are you permitted to pursue moonlighting or locum tenens opportunities? Do you need permission from the employer before you accept those positions?
- Physician Oversight: If physician oversight is needed due to state law; who will be the supervising physician?
- Call Schedule: How often are you on call (after hours office call, hospital call (if applicable)?
- Electronic Medical Records (EMR): What EMR system is used? Will providers receive training prior to providing 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?
- Productivity Compensation: If there is productivity compensation; how is it calculated (wRVU, net collections, encounters, etc.)?
- Benefits Summary: Are standard benefits offered: healthcare, vision, dental, life, disability, retirement, etc.?
- Paid Time Off: How much time off is offered? What is the split between vacation, sick days, CME attendance and holidays?
- Continuing Medical Education (CME): What is the annual allowance for CME expenses and how much time off is offered?
- Dues and Fees: Which business expenses are covered in the contract (licensing, DEA registration, privileging)?
- Relocation Assistance: Is relocation assistance offered? What are the repayment obligations if the Agreement is terminated prior to the expiration of the initial term?
- Signing Bonus: Is a signing bonus offered? When is it paid?
- Professional Liability Insurance: What type of professional liability insurance is offered: claims made, occurrence, self-insurance?
- Tail Insurance: If tail insurance is necessary, who is responsible to pay for it when the Agreement is terminated?
- 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 in the Agreement for providers?
- Without Cause Termination: How much notice is required for either party to terminate the Agreement without case?
- Post Termination Payment Obligations: Will you receive production bonuses after the Agreement is terminated?
- Non-Compete: How long does the non-compete last and what is the prohibited geographic scope?
- Non-Solicitation: How long does it last and does it cover employees, patients, and business associates?
- Notice: How is notice given in the contract? Contact via email, US mail, etc.? Does the practice and their lawyer have to be notified?
- Assignment: Can the Agreement be assigned by the employer?
- Alternative Dispute Resolution: If there is a conflict, will mediation or arbitration process be utilized? Who decides what attorney oversees the process? What litigation is allowed? Who is responsible for attorney’s fees?
Breaking a Nurse Practitioner Contract with a Non Compete
Non compete agreements were originally considered as restraints of trade, and thus were invalid on the grounds of public policy at common law; however, many restraints of trade incident to employment agreements were upheld based on the rule of reason. Thus, restrictive covenants not to compete after termination of employment are generally enforceable as long as it is reasonable. However, there are a few states which prohibit health care provider non compete agreements. Please check your state laws for nurse practitioner non compete agreements to see what the specific rules for your state are. The general test for reasonableness of a non-competition clause holds that on termination of employment, a covenant which restrains an employee from competing with his former employer is termed reasonable if:
- The restraint is not more than required for protecting the employer,
- It does not inflict any untold of hardships to the employer, and
- The restraint is not injurious to the public.
Reasonableness of NP Non Compete
For instance, in Ohio, a non-competition clause was unreasonable when it was noted that a provider’s sub-specialty was uncommon, and that it would be harsh if the restrictive covenant was enforced as the hospital where he was precluded from practicing was only one of the few institutions in the area where he could practice his specialty. Thus, in Ohio, covenants restraining providers from competing with his employer on termination of employment is considered unreasonable if it inflicts untold of hardship on the physician, is injurious to the public, if the demand for the NP’s medical expertise is important for the community people and if the services are important for the health, care and treatment of public. However, non-competition clauses for nurse practitioners, in general, are enforceable as long as they protect some of the employer’s legitimate interests.
Nurse Practitioner Contract Negotiation Dangers
Nurse practitioners face much risk when they take contract matters into their own hands. Contract terms are highly negotiable and have a great impact not only on professional life but also on lifestyle, family and the future. There are many important contract terms and clauses which can present new complex and diverse issues for any NP, including:
- Unfavorable call schedules
- Small Production Bonuses
- Lack of Benefits
- Not enough paid-time-off
- Not enough vacation time
- Unfair Non-Compete
- Inadequate professional liability coverage
Nurse Practitioner Contract Lawyer
When your contract is reviewed by an experienced attorney, you will find great financial benefits which end up outweighing the cost of the review. If you are in need of assistance with an employment agreement or contract review schedule a NP Contract Review with Chelle Law today!