This lecture will provide an overview of how to read and interpret a typical physician or health care provider employment or contractor agreement.
It is critical that any agreement that an employee or contractor is required to sign be provided to the employee or contractor well in advance of the start date with plenty of time and opportunity to review and revise as needed.
The presenter will begin by outlining the difference between being an employee and a contractor, and what the ramifications are of each classification, as well as providing a general overview of other basic business considerations when considering an employment or contractor position of any kind.
Attendees will learn how to interpret basic agreement terms and learn how to eliminate the term "boilerplate" and "legalese" from their vocabulary when considering such contracts. Every single word in a contract is there for a reason, just because the reason is legal compliance does not mean an employee or contractor should brush off the need to understand those words!
The presenter will provide various alternatives to agreement terms in areas such as compensation, scope of duties, reimbursement for professional fees and costs, and professional liability insurance. Additionally, attendees will learn how to interpret differences in terms that may seem innocuous to the untrained eye but could result in thousands - or tens of thousands - of dollars in losses to the employee or contractor.
The presenter will also discuss potential termination of the agreement and what terms should be in all agreements to prepare for potential termination in order to be sure everyone knows what his or her rights and responsibilities are before there is a breakdown in the relationship that would result in need to terminate.
After the nuts and bolts of a typical agreement are reviewed, the attendees will be provided with an overview and description of the Stark and Anti-Kickback laws, why they were instituted, what they do and do not cover and who they are and are not applicable to. Once the basic constructs of the laws themselves are reviewed, the presenter will then go over the most common exceptions to these laws and their application to contractor and employment agreements. Exceptions include specific scenarios in which the law allows physicians, practices and providers to participate in activities that may otherwise be deemed prohibited under both laws.
Finally, attendees should have the basic knowledge and confidence to understand and negotiate basic agreement terms as well as the knowledge to understand when they should call on help, such as a qualified healthcare attorney, to negotiate on his or her behalf.
Why should you Attend: Are you currently working pursuant to an employment or contractor agreement that you signed immediately upon receipt? Did you receive an agreement to sign on your first day at your current position with no meaningful time to review or consider the agreement? Too many individuals sign employment and contractor agreements either without reading them (either due to lack of time or misunderstanding as to enforceability) or, once having read them, making the incorrect assumption that all terms are "non-negotiable". More often than not, the terms are definitely negotiable and, even if they truly are not, a dialog about what the terms mean and the reasoning behind their inclusion in the agreement can provide critical insight into the employer’s motivation and practices.
Once the basic terms of an agreement are determined, medical practices, physicians and health care providers must also be sure that those term are within a legally compliant compensation model. Health care providers cannot accept payment for referrals, but do you know what the federal government considers a "payment for a referral"? If you have a contractor agreement that is not in writing, or is not quite for fair market value, you may be giving/receiving a kickback. If you enter into an employment agreement where you are getting paid a very large salary for minimal work, you may be giving/receiving a kickback. When it comes to federal law, ignorance is not bliss and is certainly not an excuse or a defense when caught in the crosshairs of the federal Stark or Anti-kickback laws. Educate yourself and protect yourself.
This webinar will provide an overview of what the various "standard" agreement terms really mean and how to interpret them. Employees and contractors often fail to protect themselves because they believe that they either cannot or, that the terms of the agreement cannot be enforced. Far too often physicians and health care providers will not seek the assistance of health care counsel to review a proposed employment or contractor agreement until it is already signed and he or she is already in a hopeless situation with no feasible way out.
Areas Covered in the Session: