Academy of Chiropractic Personal Injury & Primary Spine Care Program
Quickie Consult 974
Infrastructure 222 I
“Anatomy of a Stressful, Failed LIFE”
You notice I didn’t say PRACTICE… because the stress in your practice = stress in your life
“I am a schmuck… and I choose it” Mark Studin 2018
The following is a combination of 2 doctor’s choices that I am combining into 1 story and they are REAL!!
Dr. Smith called me for the 5th time in the last 3 months. He said that he lost 2 associates in the last 2 months and is back adjusting his patients. The complaint is that he had a verbal agreement with both of them and is paying them 20% of everything they referred into the office and has no written agreement with one of them. In addition, his office manager is cutting checks for them as she controls the books and he realized that she is paying them $1000’s after they left. In addition, one of the 2 associates (the one with a written agreement) went to work for another chiropractor a few blocks away and breached the agreement not to work for anyone within 10 miles for 1 year.
Both DC’s left him with incomplete chart notes and Dr. Smith is basically lazy and does not want to review the books, because he wanted more time off and acknowledged that his office manager is probably stealing form him, but he is afraid of her and is more afraid of having to do her work.
In addition, Dr. Smith has no office policy to be able to fire her without cause and has no separation agreement with any of the doctors and is afraid if he stops paying the 2 associates the bonuses, they will sue him. Therefore, his choice, in spite of my recommendations is to do nothing but pay as he doesn’t want to confront or fix any situation.
Before I discuss the solutions, lets analyze his relationships. First, this doctor is committing Federal Anti-Kickback (Stark) Violations in that you cannot give a doctor a % of anything BUT what their hands touch. Not what another doctor treats (adjusts), not what the Physical Therapist treats because THE ASSOCIATE made the referral. That is the LAW in every state and will give you a new wardrobe with stripes.
Dr. Smith is stressed to the limit. He knows (believes) that his office manager is stealing from him, that he shouldn’t be giving the 2 former associates anything because they abruptly left him and he keeps paying them. That one of the associates screwed him and went to a competitor (probably stealing referral sources) and now, based upon my conversation with him is committing both state and Federal crimes that could land him in jail. Therefore, he wants to keep paying (getting screwed) by the former associates so they don’t turn him in along with the office manager that is probably collaborating with the former associates.
Quite the “pickle” and the solution for Dr. Smith is to sell the practice and Run AWAY!!
The real solution:
- Have everyone sign an Office Policy so that you can fire anyone without cause BEFORE you need it.
- Have an iron clad “Associate Doctor Employment Agreement.”
- Have a “Separation Agreement” that will prevent any legal action after firing someone
- NEVER BREAK THE LAW!!!!!
All of the above scenarios were explained to both of these doctors (where I got the combined story from) and I have given all of you the same message. HEED IT as it will allow you to put your head on the pillow at night and sleep well, while you count your money in the bank!!!!
All of these forms were created by a VERY SMART LABOR lawyer and I get $0.00 of the fees for the documents. They are also VERY INEXPENSIVE and will save you $1000’s to start with a local lawyer who rarely has labor experience.
EVERYONE needs all of the forms (except if you don’t have an associate). This is what a good and legally defensible infrastructure looks like.
Mark Studin DC, FASBE(C), DAAPM, DAAMLP
Adjunct Associate Professor of Chiropractic, University of Bridgeport, College of Chiropractic
Adjunct Post Graduate Faculty, Cleveland University-Kansas City, College of Chiropractic
Adjunct Professor, Division of Clinical Sciences, Texas Chiropractic College
Graduate Medical 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