QUESTION

What are my obligations under a physician employment agreement?

Each party’s obligations vary from contract to contract and must be clearly delineated and understood to avoid disputes. Generally, the employer (whether a hospital or practice group) is obligated to not unreasonably exercise control over the physician in the practice of medicine or the treatment of the facility’s patients. The employer further has certain obligations regarding access to the facilities, equipment, and personnel. The physician, on the other hand, typically has a number of express obligations including, among other things, to maintain (i) a valid and unrestricted license to practice; (ii) proper credentials and accreditation required to practice the physician’s medical specialty; (iii) staff privileges; and (iv) the physician’s status as a participating provider in federal health care programs. The employment agreement usually also requires the physician to comply with the employer’s policies, procedures and bylaws, devote full professional working time to the employer, meet all on-call hour expectations, and participate in quality improvement and risk management programs and activities. Again, it is important to seek the advice of counsel experienced with these agreements as each one is unique.

ASG Law can advise you with respect to physician-facility or physician-practice group agreements.