Doctors and nurses are in continued demand as healthcare facilities expand, build new structures, and institute virtual visits. Although working in the medical field is considered by most to be a calling, the relationships formed between the medical professional and the facility or facilities in which they provide services continues to change. With the added potential responsibilities comes the potential of added stress. Sure, you’re doing what you love, even when it’s stressful, but it’s important that you’re happy with what you’re getting in return for your devotion to your patients and the healthcare facility. One of the best ways that you can get your needs met as a medical professional is to review and negotiate the healthcare contract offered to you. Susan Larsen, a healthcare attorney officing in Denver, Colorado, uses her more than 30 years of healthcare contracts experience to assist doctors and nurses in reviewing and negotiating the terms. The goal of Larsen Law is to help medical professionals develop win-win scenarios to help create goodwill-based long-term working relationships. Here are several ways a healthcare attorney helps with healthcare contracts.
Clarify Your Responsibilities as a Medical Professional
As healthcare organizations continue to expand and find new ways to offer services, doctors and nurses may find themselves with additional responsibilities. While this isn’t necessarily a negative trait associated with healthcare contracts, it’s important that the responsibilities are clearly outlined. This helps avoid future misunderstandings. It also helps medical professionals understand what they’ll be required to do before they enter into the contract. If the responsibilities aren’t quite what you expect, a healthcare attorney can help you negotiate with the organization offering the contract to you.
You may be required to work in only one department of one facility, work in multiple departments of one facility, work in one department in several associated facilities, float between several associated facilities and work in a multitude of different ways, and provide services through virtual visits.
Related: How to Draft a Physician Employment Agreements to Prevent Later Disputes
Protect Your Ability to Build Your Own Future
For doctors, physician assistants, and ARNPs, it’s important to understand the terms of any healthcare agreement you sign. This isn’t to say that a healthcare facility may go out of their way use restrictive clauses. It’s to say that if you have or want to build your own practice, you need to ensure that the terms of the healthcare agreement allow you to do so. If it doesn’t, this is another instance where a healthcare attorney may be able to work with the organization to refine the agreement so that it works better for both you and the organization.
Consider Your Personal Desires
Your career as a medical professional is noble and helps people every day. Yet, the medical profession can also cause burn out. It’s imperative that you take care of yourself as best you can. One way you can address some of your self-care needs is through your healthcare agreement. For example, consider your interests. Do you enjoy trips into the mountains? Do you enjoy skiing? Do you enjoy a certain music festival? If the healthcare organization has facilities in the area where you’d like to go and spend time, it may be possible to negotiate some time each year where you’re able to work at those facilities so that you can also enjoy some personal recreation.
How Often Do You Want to Travel?
Partially related to the last point of potential negotiation, think about how often you want to travel. Of course, your desire and ability to travel depends on your personal life. There are healthcare organizations that require their medical professionals to travel to fill openings for a certain amount of time. There are some organizations that may not expect their professionals to travel to new locations on a regular basis to fill temporary openings, but they will expect them to travel within a certain geographical area. In some instances, it may be possible to negotiate the amount of travel expected. However, if you know that the position is meant to be one that travels, you may be able to negotiate how often you’ll move locations, living expenses, and other key components associated with the position.
Can You Teach, Lecture, and Give Presentations While Under Contract?
If you want to teach, lecture, or give presentations (or if you already engage in one or all of those practices), it’s important to pay attention to the healthcare agreement you’re offered. If teaching and lecturing are important to you, the agreement should be reviewed to ensure that you can still do so once you sign the contract. Some healthcare organizations may request that you only lecture or give presentations on their behalf. Some healthcare organizations may state in the agreement that you’re free to pursue those other activities when you’re not scheduled to provide services. Others may not address the matter. Clarity is key to ensure that you’re able to engage in the activities you want to pursue and not endanger your long-term professional relationship with the organization.
Let’s Talk about Money
Before you sign the healthcare agreement, it’s important that you review it and understand the rate you’ll be paid, when you’ll be paid, and if there are certain expenses you’re expected to cover (such as continuing education, licensing expenses, health insurance, tuition for future education, or malpractice insurance). Depending on your experience and any specialty, a healthcare attorney may be able to help you negotiate better pay.
Larsen Law: Assisting in Healthcare Agreement Negotiations
Here at Larsen Law, we take a different approach to contracts and negotiation. We fully believe that it is possible to create healthcare agreements that mutually benefit both the healthcare professional and the facility. To learn more about how Larsen Law can help you, call us today to schedule your consultation: 303-520-6030. It’s time for you to see what an experienced healthcare attorney can do for you!