Houston Health Care & Medical Law Attorneys
For any employer looking to hire, and for any prospective employee looking to land a position, compensation is a key factor. In the medical industry, however, compensation is subject to far more than negotiation between two parties and standard employment laws. It must also conform to state and federal health care regulations. However, navigating the regulatory maze surrounding health care contracts requires a comprehensive understanding of complex laws and strategic provisions. In addition to ensuring regulatory compliance, practitioners and group providers also need to effectively protect their own rights and interests. This is where the detail-oriented and experienced counsel of proven lawyers can make all the difference.
At Hendershot, Cowart & Hisey, P.C., our health care attorneys have extensive experience handling regulatory, business, and contractual matters for medical professionals, physician groups, and other providers with varying and complex legal needs. From establishing a new practice and counseling existing providers on compliant policies and procedures to representing those facing allegations of fraud and abuse, we have the resources and breadth of knowledge to help clients tackle their most pressing needs – including those related to medical contracts.
Discuss compensation agreements, medical contracts, and how we can help by calling (713) 909-7323 or contacting us online. Hendershot, Cowart & Hisey, P.C. serves health care clients throughout Texas.
Compensation in Medical Contracts
Properly drafting, negotiating, and assessing a medical contract is important for both physicians and employers. Though employment agreements may vary – from establishing duties, outlining options for dispute resolution, and creating clear restrictive covenants such as a non-compete or non-solicitation agreement – compensation is often a top priority.
Whether it’s drafting or reviewing compensation agreements, or counseling providers on compliance issues for their payment and benefit methodology, our team provides the comprehensive support clients need to address matters of physician compensation. While terms may vary, compensation agreements typically address a few common components:
- Base compensation – Base compensation is guaranteed salary, and may be subject to various tax and regulatory laws, as well as negotiation between parties. When negotiating base compensation, it’s important to focus on compliance, industry relevancy, and any necessary escalation reflecting inflation or added value for multi-year contracts, unless there are production-based terms. Generally, the amount and timing of base compensation should be clearly established in the agreement.
- Productivity incentives – Many medical contracts use compensation models or schemes that base compensation, or at least a portion of compensation, on productivity. Often, these arrangements use some type of “bonus structure” that takes into account either net collections or measurements such as Work Relative Value Units (WRVUs). For collections-based incentives, clearly defining the productivity formula, amounts, and methodology is critical, as is ensuring the equitable scheduling of patients. For compensation based on measurement, it is important to establish how work units are generated, and if ancillary services are included.
- Benefits – Fringe benefits are a significant part of total compensation. Common benefits in medical employment contracts may include health insurance, retirement plans, disability, allowances or reimbursement for travel or continuing medical education, paid time off and vacation / sick pay, and professional dues. Our firm can assist with drafting and negotiating appropriate benefits based on clients’ individual goals.
- Other bonuses – In some cases, there may be other bonuses, enticements, or forms of compensation in a medical contract. This may include signing and retention bonuses, moving and relocation expenses, student loan repayment, severances (including buyout formulas), and recruitment bonuses. Any medical contract that provides compensation through bonuses must comply with relevant laws and establish clear benchmarks for when they should be paid. Creativity and flexibility regarding such bonuses and how they’re negotiated is also something both practitioners and employers can benefit from.
- Buy-in clause – Some medical groups may choose to offer physicians the opportunity to buy into the group, or become a partner, after a period of time or certain benchmarks have been met. These types of agreements can be drafted separately from initial employment agreements. Our attorneys have extensive experience in negotiating and creating buy-in arrangements for health care clients.
Ensuring Compliance, Protecting Your Interests
Ensuring compensation agreements comply with applicable state and federal laws, including the Stark Law and Anti-Kickback Statute, is critical to controlling any exposure to potential violations and the tremendous consequences which may accompany them. As a firm that represents health care clients facing waste, fraud, and abuse investigations, we know the consequences of poorly constructed contracts, and leverage this insight to help ensure regulatory compliance. We also work closely with clients to assess their individual needs and goals, and protect their interests when entering into contractual relationships.
Our firm provides the comprehensive counsel and representation physicians, medical groups, and others who enter into medical contracts require in the highly regulated health care space. Our comprehensive medical contract services include:
- Ensuring compensation meets fair market value requirements
- Creating, reviewing, and negotiating unique compensation plans, bonus structures, and buy-in agreements
- Restrictive covenants (including non-competes and non-solicitation agreements)
- Dispute resolution and contract litigation
- Exit strategies and buyouts
- Assignability / acquisitions and mergers
Trusted Texas Health Care Lawyers: Call
Whether you are a physician entering into an important contract or a medical group looking to establish clear, concise, and compliant compensation agreements, working with proven attorneys can make all the difference. At Hendershot, Cowart & Hisey, P.C., our Texas health care and medical law attorneys have demonstrated a proven ability to handle even the most challenging and high stakes health care cases. Using this experience, we take a thorough and proactive approach to counseling clients in matters involving medical contracts, management service contracts, space and equipment leases, and more.
Call (713) 909-7323 or contact us online to speak with a Texas health care attorney about your medical contract needs.