Academy of Chiropractic Personal Injury & Primary Spine Care Program
Quickie Consult 863
Office Systems 66 OS
From the Desk of Dr. Mark Studin
Academy of Chiropractic
Preamble: many of these issues are small, yet each issue is just that… an issue. If you take care of the small issues, then the larger issues often take care of themselves and you can focus on the larger issues… a larger, more profitable practice and more family time.
“Corporate Check Up”
The 1st Step Towards Compliance
“I sleep really well… because I can.” Mark Studin 2017
Part of this consultation was written by Dr. Owens…
Last week, Dr. Owens sat down with my healthcare lawyer to review all the Policies and Procedures (P&Ps) in his practice as well as the contracts he has with visiting providers. This is a process I did every time I considered a new venture or working arrangement. Dr. Owens discussed employee agreements, documentation and business structures. This is also something I recommend to EVERY new doctor I start working with who has ANY OTHER entity or practitioner where MONEY exchanges hands.
THAT is the key… It is always about the money and how it is funneled.
It is critical to have an occasional sit down to get your team “caught up”. Every Agreement or venture that you are involved in MUST, MUST, MUST be reviewed from a legal standpoint. The lawyer CANNOT be general corporate counsel, they must be an experienced healthcare attorney, ADMITTED TO THE BAR IN YOUR STATE. If you don’t have one, ask one of the surgeons or pain doctors that you work with, they will all have one, then you can start the interview process. Here is who both Dr. Owens and I use so that you can understand what type of background you are looking to have in a healthcare lawyer for your practice.
Last week, I had a preliminary conversation with a doctor I would NOT take as a client. He shared with me that he has an MD that rents space from his office and pays his management company a fee for space and services. I asked him “what are your agreements and who created them?” He replied, “We have a verbal agreement and have done so for a few years.” I shared with him that until he gets a “corporate check-up” with a healthcare lawyer and puts written agreements in place, I would not accept him as a client. Why? Because I know that it is only a short amount of time that he will be calling me for advice on how to handle the audit and from my perspective a 100% guarantee for a law suit.
Another doctor has an electrodiagnostic company use their space to do EMG/NCV’s and pays them rent. I asked if he has a leasing contract and he said YES. The next question, who create the contract, you or the testing company? The answer was the testing company’s lawyer provided the agreements without him having to pay a lawyer look it over. This is a great deal… for the testing company because I am 100% certain after reading many of those agreements that the testing company’s interests are well protected at the expense of the doctor leasing the space.
You need YOUR OWN LAWYER to look over every agreement you sign and YOU should control the legal narrative and have everyone sign your agreements. Will it cost you MONEY… YES… Will you be protected… YES!!!! In the end, you will end up keeping more money because your interest will be served, not the other party and prevent future litigation or you “holding the bag” for litigation for both parties.
You do not run a small “mom and pop” business. Every doctor has the potential to run a million-dollar practice, therefore you are pray to everyone who wants a piece of that. There is a long line!
Do you have:
- Employment agreements for every licensed professional?
- Staff office policies for all W-2 employees
- Rental agreements for every 1099 doctor? (If they treat, they MUST be W-2’s)
- Separation agreements for every fired staff?
- Management agreements for all entities in your physical location?
- Rental agreements for anyone using your space?
Every relationship in your professional life must have a written agreement by a healthcare lawyer!!!!
If you fail to be proactive, then start interviewing now for healthcare or criminal defense lawyer because it is not a question IF they are coming, it’s only a question of when!!!!
Mark Studin DC, FASBE(C), DAAPM, DAAMLP
Adjunct Associate Professor of Chiropractic, University of Bridgeport, College of Chiropractic
Adjunct Professor, Division of Clinical Sciences, Texas Chiropractic College
Educational Presenter, Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education Joint Partnership with the State University of New York at Buffalo, School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences
Academy of Chiropractic
US Chiropractic Directory
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