Business Life Cycle Management
If you do not want to immediately (or ever) pursue ownership of a practice or if you are a practice owner who wants to add an associate doctor to the practice, you will need to understand Associate Agreements/Contracts. No matter what category of doctor you are, you need to understand the other party’s concerns so that you can start off with the right relationship with a great future for both parties.
Understanding the Associate Contract/Agreement
Handshakes and verbal agreements are ancient history; don’t repeat history. The associate should receive a copy of the written employment agreement and be permitted to take it to legal counsel for advice. If you are not given this opportunity, decline the employment offer. All contracts should be negotiable.
The following represents sections in a typical associate agreement. Each section demonstrates points and concerns that need to be considered by each of the parties and their attorneys. A brief description is given for each section.
- Introduction: Defines owner’s name, address, business entity, employee’s name
- Recitals: Defines that associate doctor is licensed to practice in state of employment
- Employment: Defines associate’s job duties
- Term: Indicates start date, when benefits begin, termination information
- Compensation: Defines method of compensation
- Benefits: Defines holidays, vacation, personal days, continuing education, etc.
- Work Schedule: Defines days, times, hours associate will work
- Performance & Salary Review: Discusses frequency of reviews and salary discussions
- Office Facilities: Defines what owner will furnish for associate’s patient treatment
- Expenses: Defines which party is responsible for continuing education
- Patient Records/Solicitation of Patients: Defines owner’s rules on patient solicitation
- Non-Solicitation of Employees: Defines owner’s rules on associate’s future hiring of employees
- Confidentiality Information: Protects associate and owner from disclosing confidential information
- Specific Performance: Describes how disputes can be enforced in a court of law
- Assignment: Defines that rights and benefits cannot be assigned
- Notice: Defines how parties communicate legally with each other
- Governing Law: Indicates the Agreement is subject to state laws
- Entire Agreement: Finalizes Agreement with signatures from both parties
Whether you are a doctor seeking employment or a practice Owner seeking to employ an Associate Doctor, Tracker Enterprises, Inc.™ will help you prepare and/or interpret an Associate Agreement that will be fair to both parties.
For more information about understanding more about Associate Agreements, contact us and/or read Chapter 28 of Dr. Pavlik’s book, Business Essentials for Healthcare Professionals available at Amazon by clicking here.