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Podiatrist Contract Review

Chelle Law provides Podiatrist Contract Review for podiatrists entertaining a new job or renegotiating an existing podiatry employment contract. You have worked hard to develop your skills and deserve to advance in your professional career with a fair market value podiatry employment contract. So, when you are about to enter into an podiatry employment contract, getting medical contract review services before signing is vitally important. The terms of the contract will impact your practice and your day-to-day life. Attorney Robert Chelle can review your podiatric contract, identify the areas that could be improved and assist you in negotiating the best contract possible. Each podiatrist that requests Mr. Chelle’s expert assistance with contracts receives:

  • Available for attorney review in any state
  • Flat-rate pricing, with no hidden financial costs for the contract review
  • Lawyer review of your proposed contract
  • Phone consultation reviews, analyzing the contract term by term
  • Follow up with needed clarifications for the contract review

Podiatrist Employment Agreement Review

Contracts are a pervasive and obligatory part of every job search. Well-drafted contracts help to enumerate the responsibilities of the involved parties, divide liabilities, protect legal rights, and insure future relationship statuses. These touchstones are even more crucial when applying their roles to the case of a podiatrist employed by a hospital, medical group, or other health care provider. While contract drafting and negotiation can be a long and arduous process, a search for quality legal representation is a must in order to ensure that your rights are being protected before you start your new job and sign a new contract.  The present day conclusion is simple: A podiatric professional should not sign a contract without having the contract reviewed by legal counsel.  For instance, concerns include: annual reviews, document and form retention, salary review each year, medical education money, sign on bonus, etc.

Podiatry Contracts Checklist Form

Every podiatric employment contract is unique.  However, nearly every podiatry employment contract for health care professionals should contain several essential terms.  If these essential terms are not spelled out in the podiatry 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 podiatric professional 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 Agreement; 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 podiatry employment contracts should contain (and a brief explanation of each term):

  1. Services Offered: What are the podiatrist’s clinical patient care duties? Are you given time for administrative tasks?
  2. Patient Care Schedule: What days and hours per week are you expected to provide patient care and have patient contact?
  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 medicine related positions?
  5. Call Schedule: How often are you on call (after hours office call, hospital call (if applicable)?
  6. Electronic Medical Records (EMR): What EMR system is used? Will you receive training prior to providing care?
  7. 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?
  8. Productivity Compensation: If there is productivity compensation; how is it calculated (wRVU, net collections, patient encounters, etc.)?
  9. Benefits Summary: Are standard benefits offered: health, vision, dental, life, disability, retirement, etc.?
  10. Paid Time Off: How much time off is offered? What is the split between vacation, sick days, CME attendance and holidays?
  11. Continuing Medical Education (CME): What is the annual allowance for CME expenses and how much time off is offered?
  12. Dues and Fees: Which business expenses are covered (licensing, DEA registration, privileging)?
  13. Relocation Assistance: Is relocation assistance offered? What are the repayment obligations if the contract is terminated prior to the expiration of the initial term?
  14. Signing Bonus: Is a signing bonus offered? When is it paid?
  15. Professional Liability Insurance: What type of professional liability insurance is offered: claims made, occurrence, self-insurance?
  16. Tail Insurance: If tail insurance is necessary, who is responsible to pay for it when the Agreement is terminated?
  17. Term: What is the length of the initial term? Does the contract automatically renew after the initial term?
  18. For Cause Termination: What are the grounds for immediate termination for cause?
  19. Without Cause Termination: How much notice is required for either party to terminate the Agreement without case?
  20. Post Termination Payment Obligations: Will you receive production bonuses after the Agreement is terminated?
  21. Non-Compete: How long does the non-compete last and what is the prohibited geographic scope?
  22. Non-Solicitation: How long does it last and does it cover employees, patients, and business associates?
  23. Notice: How is notice given? Contact via email, US mail, etc.?
  24. Assignment: Can the Agreement be assigned by the employer?
  25. Alternative Dispute Resolution: If there is a conflict, will mediation or arbitration process be utilized?

Breaking a Podiatry Agreement with a Non Compete

Non compete clauses 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 podiatry employment contracts were upheld based on the rule of reason.  Thus, restrictive covenants between dentists 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 clauses.  Please check your state laws for podiatry non compete clause to see what the specific rules for your state are.  The general test for reasonableness of non-competition agreements 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.

Non Compete Reasonableness

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 podiatric professional, is injurious to the public, if the demand for the dentist’s medical expertise is important for the community people and if the dentist’s services are important for the health, care and treatment of public.  However, non-competition clauses for dentists, in general, are enforceable as long as they protect some of the employer’s legitimate interests.

Sample Negative Terms to Avoid in a Job Search

Podiatrists 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 PA, 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

Attorney Review

When your contract is reviewed by an experienced attorney, you will find financial benefits which end up outweighing the cost of the review. Leave it to the experts. We also provide podiatric contract review.  If you are in need of assistance with a podiatry employment agreement or contract review schedule a Podiatrist Contract Review with Chelle Law today!