In Physician Contracts, Hindsight Is ... Useless

By Steve Barrett
Friday, November 1, 2019

False assumptions about the terms above that dotted line you’re considering signing — and about your would-be employer — may land you in an unhappy job and even in legal peril, according to Rebecca E. Gwilt, Esq.

Gain a full understanding of the contract in advance to minimize risk, advises Gwilt, co-founder and Partner at Virginia-based, healthcare-focused law firm Nixon Law Group.

Here are some important considerations:

Know what the job entails. You don’t want to discover after signing that your compensation is paltry for the amount of work expected.

Don’t assume your employer has unimpeachable legal expertise. Signing a contract that violates the Anti-Kickback Statute, the Stark Law or other laws related to abuse or fraud makes you culpable for such violations and subject to penalties.

Don’t rush in. You won’t be able to exempt yourself from less savory terms of a contract by claiming you didn’t understand them, so take the time necessary to vet the document.

Get a handle on the compensation structure. Incentives, costs and a matrix of other factors have a strong bearing on physician compensation nowadays. That makes it crucial to clearly comprehend ahead of time how much you will realistically earn.

Speak up during negotiations. The recruitment and interviewing process is a significant investment of time and money for employers. They are unlikely to withdraw a job offer simply because you seek better terms.