HealthLAW Offices recently published an article focused on a common issue for most physicians. The “need for physicians to carefully review and understand contract language before signing an employment contract was highlighted in a Kentucky Court of Appeals unpublished decision.” Jose Alzadon, MD, took a job acting as a general surgeon. After several complaints were filed against Mr. Alzadon, he lost his position and “disciplinary action was warranted against Dr. Alzadon’s medical license.” Due to the structure of his employment agreement, he was liable to repay the income guarantees and attorneys’ fees.
Along with strong personal employee agreements, it is also important doctors have language to protect them from issues with their own employees, especially in cases of termination. “It is not uncommon for practices to pay out settlements after what they viewed was a rightful termination. These issues most commonly derive from hesitation about termination, and weak language in the employer contact” says Dr. Eric Wechsler, MD. Dr. Wechsler, who is the Founder and CEO of The Pocket Dietitian and Fellow of the National Kidney Foundation, has experience dealing with both sides of this issue.
Understanding the contracts doctors create and sign is a must for success in the healthcare industry. With liabilities and risks constantly growing, you must protect yourself from what can sometimes be career and business ruining disputes.
By: Peter King