12/01/2013 // Dallas, Texas, United States // Attorney Keith Clouse // Keith Clouse // (press release)
Leaving a medical practice involves financial considerations, legal consequences, and, often, emotionally-charged conversations. Careful planning can help mitigate these concerns.
Before planning an exit strategy, a doctor must first review her employment agreement. Most physician employment agreements address separation matters. These include the grounds for resignation with cause, the parties’ obligations regarding malpractice insurance, any restrictions on the physician’s competitive activities post-separation, and how to calculate the “buy-out” rate should the physician wish to buy a release from those restrictions. A physician must fully understand her employment agreement’s terms for two reasons. First, these terms provide the starting point for separation-related conversations. Second, the doctor must ensure that she fully complies with her contractual obligations.
In some cases, the parties’ rights and obligations are so clearly defined in the employment agreement that no additional “negotiation” is required, although the parties may draft a new agreement to more fully address a non-compete buy-out. In other cases, the parties must negotiate multiple separation-related concerns, such as severance pay, fringe benefits, how and when patients will be notified about the doctor’s departure, and how the doctor’s access to patient records will be handled.
To learn more about physician employment and separation agreements, contact an employment lawyer in your area. This article is presented by the employment law attorneys at Clouse Dunn LLP. For inquiries, send an email to [email protected] or call (214) 239-2705.
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