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Contract Negotiations Elizabeth Rocovich Cline, J.D., Ph.D.

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Presentation on theme: "Contract Negotiations Elizabeth Rocovich Cline, J.D., Ph.D."— Presentation transcript:

1 Contract Negotiations Elizabeth Rocovich Cline, J.D., Ph.D.

2 I.Introduction Why are we here? - imp of preventative legal medicine -its a business to ER, and you should look at it as business, too

3 II.Common pitfalls in negotiating contracts A.Being too polite B.Assuming that the other party has your best interest at heart C.Not knowing what you really want out of contract and job

4 D.Not asking right questions -b/c you: (1) dont know what you really want/need, and (2) dont do your homework

5 III.Effective planning before negotiations A.Homework 1. Financial questions a. Salaries of other drs in your position and geographical area b. Cost of living in the area

6 2. Working in a gp practiceits a marriage a. Observe work environment of gp practice; ask others b. Find out why any drs/staff recently left the practice

7 c. Find out if big changes are on horizon for the gp. practice -expansion -downsizing in staff/space - better benefits, etc.

8 3. Working in hospitalits a bureaucracy a. Talk w/drs there -how smoothly do things run? -big changes on the horizon?

9 c.Ask family/significant other and yourself what you want out of this job -many drs dont do this!! d. Call in the troopstell your lawyer before you start negotiating

10 IV.Effective negotiation techniques A.Be Prepared 1. Do your homework (see above) 2. Know what you want/need

11 3. Know your priorities -deal-makers and deal-breakers - be realistic, but assume everything is negotiable

12 4. Know what you are worthin terms of: a. Type of medicine that you practice b. Number of drs in your area with your specialty/practice

13 c. The need for your specialty or practice d. The doctor to patient ratio in the area

14 5.Know what gp practice (or hospl) wants/needs

15 B. Expect to be out-techniqued by other party - remember: its a business, and administrators & attys are the ones who work on the deals

16 Never accept a verbal offer! After verbal offer, request a letter of intent before you receive a written contract Letter should outline basics of the offer, i.e., salary, termination provisions, job duties/obligations

17 C. Prepare to respond to the following approaches: 1. The I have no authority approach (my favorite)

18 2. The Yes, we put all of the changes that you wanted in this new draft approach

19 3. The We cant change anything in this contract approach (we give this form to all of the doctors)

20 4. The You dont really need to understand this partI dont approach

21 5. The Dont use a lawyershell just want to drag it out approach

22 6. The Its not written in the contract, but you can take my word for it approach

23 V.Practical Matters A.Legal implications of common k clauseswhat to look out for in drafts 1. Non-compete clause, a.k.a. covenant not to compete

24 2. Term of employment and renewal of term

25 3. Termination of employment 4. Definitions of terms like illness and disability

26 5. Compensation -flat salary? -income guarantee? -bonus? -after year 1, does compensation become productivity-based?

27 Does the employer pay for any of the following? –Board fees –Journal subscriptions –Dues to medical groups/associations –CME allowance

28 Does the employer offer and/or pay for any of the following? –Insurance (life/health/disability) –Malpractice insurance** –401k (any matching?) –Pension plan

29 Does the employer offer and/or pay for any of the following? –Sick leave or personal leave –Vacation time –CME time –Moving bonus –Signing bonus

30 Some of the items that I just mentioned are items that you can negotiate!

31 Other related questions to ask: How is income shared among the group? Is there a buy-in? – When is the employee eligible? –What is she buying? (assets? vote as SH?) –How much did the last dr. pay for a buy-in opportunity?

32 6. Job duties What does the contract mention or fail to mention? –call coverage? –meeting attendance? –hours at clinic/practice/hospital?

33 -**Is moonlighting allowed or specifically prohibited?

34 B. When to lawyer-up C. When to sign the contract

35 D. Why you must understand what each para. of your k means (English, not Legal-ese) E.What to do if hospl/gp practice is not honoring k clause

36 Contact Information Elizabeth Rocovich Cline 540-774-8800 (ph.) 540-774-8808 (fax)

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