The number of doctors working for hospitals is increasing across the U.S., according to a study by the Physicians Advocacy Institute. Researchers analyzed data from 2012-2015 and found the number of physicians employed by hospitals and health systems increased by 50% from 95,000 to 140,000 during those years. As hospitals take over the direct employment of the doctors working at the facility, a sound contract is important to maintaining health care quality and profitability. Below are seven key provisions of a successful physician employment contract.
- Duties of the doctor under contract – What type of medicine will be practiced during what hours? Is the doctor required to be on-call or shoulder additional administrative duties? A detailed outline of exact expectations is crucial.
- Compensation – Today’s hospitals employ a system of base salary plus bonuses tied to job performance. A doctor must demonstrate efficiency as well as quality care which can be determined through patient surveys.
- Provider/Payor requirements – If a hospital has agreements with payors such as Medicare or Medicaid, the doctor must be a participating provider in that program. The same will apply for PPO and HMO plans. The doctor may also be required to assign rights to payment to the hospital.
- Training standards – Although a doctor must be licensed and certified in his or her specialty, a hospital should provide continuing education through attendance at conferences or online review. Peer review is also a tool used to maintain standards.
- Confidentiality/Non-solicitation clauses – Should the doctor’s employment be terminated, a confidentiality clause prohibits a former employee from disclosing any confidential information particular to the hospital, including business practices or patient information. A non-solicitation clause prohibits a former employee for a specified period of time from soliciting former colleagues to work for him or her at another medical practice after leaving employment at the hospital.
- Non-competition clause – An employed doctor cannot work for another hospital or healthcare facility in a capacity that would harm the employer. Most contracts have additional distance restrictions such as a 15-mile radius and time restrictions of up to a year following termination.
- Termination of contract – The length of employment should be specified as well as anything that will be considered grounds for termination. These can include substandard care, poor job performance, or lack of cooperation with hospital administration.
Philadelphia Health Care Lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. Assist with All Aspects of Physician Employment Contracts
The Philadelphia health care lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates P.C. are experienced and skilled in creating sound health care contracts. Call us at 215-569-1999 for an appointment at our Center City, Philadelphia offices, or fill out our online contact form.