If you are an independent health professional, you may want to work in a shared medical practice. If so, you will need a written agreement with the medical practice. This agreement will set out your rights and responsibilities as a health professional working in a shared medical practice. You should take some time to review the agreement before signing it to ensure both parties are on the same page.
This article will detail what you should consider when reviewing your agreement with a medical practice.
Are the Roles of the Parties Clear?
Even though you are a health professional working in a shared medical practice, you should make it clear in your agreement that you operate as an independent business. This means you can choose your hours of work and accept or reject referrals from the medical practice. This level of independence gives you greater control over your business.
Are You Set Up to Provide Services Independently of the Medical Practice?
You should include in the agreement that you will provide services independently of the medical practice. This involves entering into contractual agreements with patients directly and organising your own registration and insurance.
How Will Referrals be Handled?
As a health professional, you may agree to have a process whereby referrals will be made from one party to the other. You should include in the written agreement that you have the discretion to accept or reject referrals and make bookings at times when you are available.
How Will Fees be Paid?
It is common for a medical practice to request a fee from you for your use of the premises and any facilities. The agreement should set out how the practice will calculate the fee and how it will pay it to you. A common approach is to calculate the fee as a percentage of the revenue you obtain from your patients in the medical centre.
You should also consider whether you will appoint the medical practice as an agent. This means it will be able to collect the fees on your behalf. There should be appropriate clauses detailing how the medical practice will obtain fees from patients and how it will distribute them to you.
What Will the Medical Practice be Providing You?
You should be aware of the services the medical practice will be providing to you. Some of these are:
- use of specific areas of the premises; and
- access to administrative services, including booking systems, printers and a postbox.
How Will the Medical Practice Collect and Store Patient Information?
You should ensure the agreement outlines how the medical practice will collect and store patient information. Specifically, it should address whether the medical practice will:
- collect and store patient information;
- use software for the collection of patient information, and whether you, as the health professional, will have convenient access to the software;
- keep that information confidential; and
- allow you to own goodwill associated with the patient information.
It is essential you ensure the proper collection and storage of patient information. This is because you need to meet regulatory and ethical standards when it comes to other people’s personal information.
Will the Medical Practice Promote Your Business?
The agreement should specify the medical practice’s role in promoting your health professional business. It should detail whether you will publicise your details on the medical practice’s website or whether the practice will create marketing material such as pamphlets to promote your services.
Ideally, the agreement should provide that the medical practice needs your permission before it can promote your business.
If you want to be a health professional working in a shared medical practice, there are some issues you need to consider. You should first determine what sort of arrangement you want to enter into with the medical practice. You should then review the agreement between you and medical practice to ensure you are both on the same page. Be vocal if you do not agree with any of the terms.
If you have questions or need help reviewing your agreement, contact LegalVision’s contract lawyers on 1300 544 755 or fill out the form on this page.
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