As a healthcare and business law firm, we routinely review and analyze employment agreements for physicians and other providers both when negotiating an agreement and after a dispute has arisen. Through our experience, we have developed tips and learned what is common, what is likely to cause disputes, and what is important in a practical sense for our provider clients. This post intends to outline three practical questions we believe important for our provider clients to consider when reviewing employment opportunities.
Question 1: Can I Complete all Contingencies Prior to my Start Date?
First things first, as a physician or other medical provider, you will necessarily be required to hold licenses, certifications, memberships, hospital privileges, provider numbers, etc. prior to providing services. Especially for providers just completing training, it is important the agreement allows you sufficient time to complete all contingencies before employment begins. If you are hesitant about your ability to complete the requirements before the start date written in the contract, there are changes to the contract you may be able to request, although there is no guarantee the employer will accept. First, you can request a later start date to give you sufficient time. Second, you can ensure there is language recognizing that the parties may agree on a later start date without terminating the agreement. Although the parties almost always have the option to modify contract terms, including language specifically referencing the ability to modify the start date is useful to set clear expectations. In our experience, clear expectations help avoid future disputes.