There are hundreds of variables to consider when we review physician employment agreements—and it’s vital that these key items are detailed in an agreement before you sign anything. And don’t be afraid to ask for help from a professional. You’ve spent numerous years and many dollars training yourself to not invest in a professional who reviews physician contracts.
Schedule. Make sure your schedule is detailed with hours and a specific location. Verbal promises of a certain hospital or “no nights or weekends” may be taken back if the contract lacks specifics, and the employer’s business needs coverage.
Compensation. Compensation structure can be very difficult to understand, especially if there are bonuses (production, quality, other various metrics) or specific calculations involved on a monthly or quarterly basis. Make sure you get the appropriate reports and have a good expectation of what is expected of you in meeting certain targets or metrics.
If you have certain expenses allocated to your production, make sure you understand the fixed and variable expenses and what you can control.
Termination. It’s important to understand how the termination clause affects the rest of your contract. If you are terminated for different reasons (for cause or without cause), how is your non-compete affected? What happens to the tail insurance provision? If you are due a bonus, will it be paid? These are often important negotiation points for physicians all across the country.
—By Jon Appino, Founder of Contract Diagnostics (ContractDiagnostics.com), a national firm that specializes in reviewing physician employment agreements.