The process of setting up a medical practice is quite unlike forming any other type of business. Strict regulations, business entity types, the potential for fraud, liability matters, and related issues mandate that you establish a solid foundation to streamline smooth operations. The more time, effort, and resources you invest at the outset, the better chances you have of avoiding significant problems later on.
Human Resources & Employment Agreements: You must address employment issues when you hire physicians and general staff to support your medical practice. Negotiating, drafting, and executing the necessary paperwork is a crucial task for starting your business. Provisions related to non-competition and confidentiality are important to protecting your legitimate business interests, such as the patient base you have worked so hard to develop.
Compliance, Licensing, and Regulatory: As a medical practice, you must understand your legal obligations under a wide range of federal, state, and local regulations. The ACA, HIPPA, Medicare, Medicaid, and other statutes combine to create a complicated landscape of laws. Stark laws are another concern, as anti-kickback and physician self-referral situations can arise in situations you do not expect. Plus, you need to tackle DEA registration and state licensing issues.
Non-compliance with such a dense regulatory scheme could lead to serious penalties, putting your interests at risk. Violations could also put your personal medical license in jeopardy, so it is imperative to work with experienced lawyers when starting up and operating a medical practice.
Contracts and Lease Agreements: Many stakeholders in medical practices choose to lease equipment. With the costs of owning a building, and for such medical equipment as PET/CT scanners, MRI machines, and robotics, leasing agreements are the preferred approach over financing or purchasing. A high-stakes lease means negotiating terms, reviewing the contract, and carefully scrutinizing supporting documentation.
Managed care contracts (HMO, PPO, IPA and PHO) should be carefully reviewed so that you fully understand the risks of participating. In some instances your attorney can help negotiate those agreements.
Leasing office and clinic space has its own set of pit falls as well. Some landlords are unscrupulous and will try to work in lease provisions that would put an undue burden on your new practice and even your personal finances. It is always prudent to have an office or clinic lease reviewed before you sign it.
When you are focused on providing top patient care and running your medical practice, it can be difficult to pay meticulous attention to the details of these contracts. Our attorneys will take the burden off your shoulders to ensure you and your practice are fully protected.
Insurance-Related Matters: Insurance issues will come up in almost any business, but the health care industry arguably faces the most challenges. Medical malpractice insurance is the most obvious matter, but you must also address liability insurance for claims that are completely unrelated to the practice of medicine. Insurance for premises liability, workers’ compensation, and other coverage may be factors, and credentialing for insurance purposes is an important consideration.
Healthcare Privacy: There are a variety of healthcare privacy laws that medical practices must adhere to on a routine basis. Having sound policies and practices in place at the beginning of the practice is critical to avoid penalties and lawsuits.
Litigation & Dispute Resolution: Business litigation is not usually an issue for a new medical practice. But, there’s always the potential for a lawsuit due to unforeseen issues; for-instance, a non-compete or trade secret matter arises. Or, it is conceivable that an issue could arise with an equipment supplier that cannot fulfill their commitment or contractor not completing office renovations on time. Both of which are potential breach of contract scenarios.