Physician Contract Review Attorneys in Texas
Houston Attorneys for Drafting & Reviewing Physician Contracts
Whether you’re considering offers at the end of residency, need to hire a doctor for your new medical practice or existing group, or face any matter involving the employment of a physician in Texas, the contracts you execute define the future of employment relationships, and have major implications for practitioners and practices alike.
At Hendershot Cowart P.C., our physician contract attorneys have extensive experience in matters of medical contracts and health and medical law. We regularly counsel and represent physicians, hospitals, and practice managers as they consider employment offers or devise agreements critical to their practice.
Our attorneys review physician employment contracts and advise you against pitfalls that could have unintended consequences. Call (713) 909-7323 or contact us online to speak with a medical contract attorney.
What Should You Look for in a Physician Contract?
When it comes to physician employment agreements, complexities abound. Creating or reviewing agreements requires balancing the physician’s rights with the business interests of the practice, as well as compliance with the patchwork of healthcare regulations (including the Stark Law, Anti-Kickback Statute, fraud and abuse laws, and various prohibitions).
Generally, physician employment contracts should address the following questions:
- What is the base salary? How is it calculated? How is bonus or productivity compensation calculated? What happens if the physician misses productivity targets?
- What are the physician’s duties and responsibilities? How many hours is the physician expected to work? How many days per week? How many hours on call?
- What is included in the benefits package (health, vision, dental, life, retirement, etc.)? How much vacation time is offered?
- What type of professional liability insurance is offered? Claims-made or occurrence? If tail insurance is necessary, who covers it if the employment contract is terminated?
- Is there a non-compete or non-solicitation provision? What are the restrictions? Is there a buy-out provision? Does it comply with Texas law?
- What is the term of the agreement? Does it automatically renew?
- What is cause for termination? Can the physician be terminated without cause?
Consult a Texas Medical Contract Attorney Before You Sign
For similar reasons a surgeon wouldn’t operate on themselves, physicians and providers should be wary of reviewing or drafting their own employment agreements without the help of knowledgeable and experienced health law attorneys. At Hendershot Cowart P.C., we can identify and resolve issues before they impact your career or practice. We negotiate, draft, and review all aspects of physician employment agreements in accordance with state and federal laws, and with our client’s unique circumstances in mind.
As a nationally recognized firm for both health and medical law and business law, we also assist practitioners, practices, medical groups, and other health care professionals and businesses with medical contracts of all types. That includes assistance with:
- Drafting and reviewing physician non-compete agreements
- Health care non-solicitation and confidentiality agreements
- Fair compensation plans, including productivity-based pay, patient collections, buy-in arrangements, bonus structures, call coverage agreements, and more
- Exit strategies, buy-out formulas, and terms for selling a medical practice
- Physician recruitment and relocation agreements
A Note About Physician Non-Compete Agreements in Texas:
A physician non-compete agreement, or a restrictive covenant clause, protects both individual practitioners and provider organizations. Non-competes provide practices and hospitals with the ability to invest in new physicians and offer practitioners legal protections to continue in their field when an employment relationship ends.
Enforceable physician non-competes in Texas must meet requirements under the state’s Business Commerce Code, which generally obligate that the agreement is:
- "Ancillary to or part of an otherwise enforceable agreement" entered into at the same time (such as an employment agreement); and
- Only contains limitations on the scope of work, duration, and geographic area that are "reasonable" and do not "impose a greater restraint than is necessary to protect the goodwill or other business interest" of the employer.
Specific protections for physicians and patients create additional requirements, including:
- Permission for physicians to treat patients with acute illness as long as needed following termination of the employment relationship;
- Terms that provide for the physician’s ability to buy-out the non-compete agreement; and
- Delivery of patient records in the format in which they have been maintained.
Medical Contract Disputes, Compliance, Enforcement & Defense
A lack of clarity or compliance with the law in any aspect of a physician employment agreement can lead to potential contract disputes and litigation. Even when such agreements are crafted carefully, there still exists the potential for problems, as well as intentional or malicious breaches of contract. Our legal team leverages our experience in business litigation to help practitioners and providers with enforcement of medical contracts and defending against medical contract claims.
Call (713) 909-7323 to Speak With a Texas Physician Contract Attorney
Employment agreements are important to both practitioners and practices, and ensuring your rights and interests are protected under such an agreement requires experience-driven insight and support from proven attorneys.
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