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PHYSICIAN ALERT: Carefully review contracts before signing on the dotted line

Michigan State Medical Society teams with Kerr Russell to offer contract review service

The Michigan State Medical Society today issued a physician alert for Michigan physicians preparing to sign a contract with a hospital, health care system, or other employer, urging physicians to more carefully review their contracts before putting their name on the dotted line.

"Few things will make as big a difference in your professional life as the contract you sign," said David M. Krhovsky, MD, President of the Michigan State Medical Society. "Physician compensation agreements and quality measurement expectations are increasingly complex, and they deserve a second look before you ink your name on the dotted line."

The Michigan State Medical Society is proud to offer MSMS members a dynamic contract review service through our partners at Kerr Russell.

"Time after time, Michigan physicians have signed a contract only to learn later exactly what they agreed to," said Daniel J. Schulte, JD, MSMS Legal Counsel and Managing Partner with Kerr Russell. "Signing a contract without a thorough review can affect everything from a physicians' hours, responsibilities and compensation, to the terms and conditions for future partnerships."

Kerr Russell and the Michigan State Medical Society today highlighted four key areas physicians should examine closely during contract negotiations:

  1. Physicians should be aware of "non-compete" language and understand that such language is always enforceable. Physicians signing a contract with a non-compete clause who later leave their position and take another in violation of the clause can face litigation and / or have difficulty convincing a future employer to hire him or her.
      
  2. Physicians should ensure that any non-compete language includes an exception that applies when an employer terminates a contract without cause early in the term.
      
  3. Contracts should include a provision requiring the employer to pay during the notice period after a contract is terminated, even if or when the employer prevents the physician from working.
      
  4. Physicians should have a say in the wording of the notice that goes to patients, medical staff, or other third parties when a physician's employment ends or is terminated.

Through MSMS's partnership with Kerr Russell, reviews are provided at a reasonable, fixed fee for MSMS members, and include review and advice regarding your contract and a telephone conference with the legal team to discuss their findings.

"Physicians owe it to their patients -- and to themselves -- to get their contracts right," said Doctor Krhovsky.

Physicians interested in scheduling a contract review are encouraged to visit https://msms.org/ContractReviews.

 

Posted in: Health Professions News, Hot Topics, News for Practices