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Healthcare Professionals

Signing a services contract is exciting, but a contract can be laden with pitfalls. You need an experienced lawyer who understands legal form as well as hospital and healthcare function. You can protect yourself by obtaining a professional legal evaluation prior to signing your contract.  With The Smith Law Office, you can rest easy knowing that a Health Law Lawyer is working to protect your interests.

Physician Contracts

My contract service packages are designed for physicians and other doctors who wish to assess compensation or bonus formulae, evaluate and compare multiple offers, and negotiate one or more terms of their contract; no issue is too complex. Reimbursement, bonuses, representations and warranties, professional liability insurance, non-compete covenants, indemnity clauses, and discretionary authority are among the many areas of physician contracts that often require interpretation.

Please contact me if you are unsure about whether you are choosing the contract service that best suits your needs. 

I. Practice Notes

     A. Professional Services Contracts

To satisfy the Anti-Kickback Statute (AKS) and Stark II safe harbors for independent contractor agreements, the contract must generally satisfy the following: (1) the contract must be in writing, specify the services to be performed, and be signed by the parties; (2) the contract must be for at least one year, and if terminated earlier, may not be renegotiated upon the same or substantially similar terms during the one-year period; (3) the services must not exceed those that are reasonably necessary for legitimate business purposes; and (4) the compensation to be paid must be set in advance, represent fair market value, and not vary with the volume or value of referrals. See 42 C.F.R. §§ 411.357(d) and 1001.952(d). In addition, to satisfy the AKS, the aggregate compensation must be set in advance, not just the method of compensation. Id. at § 1001.952(d)(5).

                  1. The Federal Anti-Kickback and Federal Stark Laws create a maze that can be navigated

                      safely with proper legal counsel. 

     B. Safe Harbors for Professional Services 

Both the federal AKS and Stark II law have safe harbors that apply to employment and professional services contracts such as clinical service or medical director agreements.

                   1. The federal AKS does not apply to bona fide employment contracts. However, to satisfy

                       Stark II, an employment contract with a physician or a member of the physician’s family

                       must satisfy the following: (1) the contract must be for identifiable services; (2) the

                       compensation must be consistent with fair market value and generally may not depend

                       on the volume or value of referrals; and (3) the arrangement must be commercially

                       reasonable even if no referrals were made (i.e., the contract must make business sense

                       regardless of referrals by the physician). See 42 C.F.R. § 411.357(c).

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