Physician Assistants (PAs) fill an ever-expanding role within the healthcare field. In the last five or six years alone, the profession has grown tremendously. Whereas ten years ago it was hit or miss as to whether people knew what PAs were and what role they filled, today the general public is well-aware of the profession and the majority of us have even been treated by a PA at least once. All of this is to say – PAs are essential to the healthcare industry, and their star continues to rise.
Did you know that the PA profession has officially been in existence in the US for 52 years? The first class of PAs – all three of them – graduated from Duke University in 1967. Fast-forward to 2018, and there are presently about 170,000 PAs working in the US, and PAs are responsible for about 8.1 million patient-visits each week. The delivery of healthcare in the US has shifted so much, in fact, by placing so much reliance on PAs and other Advanced Practice Providers (i.e. nurse practitioners), that these roles are undoubtedly indispensable. Further, the looming physician-shortage in the US means that Advanced Practice Providers become more critical every day.
Advanced Practice Providers (APPs) see patients, they write prescriptions, they must be licensed and properly insured before they can practice, and generally, their employment structure is very similar to physicians’. Therefore, it is not surprising that when APPs get a job offer, the terms of that position are usually memorialized in a multi-page, complex, legal contract that dictates each aspect of employment. When faced with a convoluted document that is full of legalese, the situation can be daunting, and rightfully so. Even the aspects of the contract that are free of legal terms, such as compensation, can be equally perplexing for someone who has no barometer/benchmark for what is fair and reasonable. How is someone with no legal education and who has never been advised about employment terms and norms supposed to feel comfortable signing this binding document?
For these reasons, the attorney-agents of Lauth O’Neill are dedicated to bringing legal guidance to APPs who find themselves overwhelmed by employment decisions. We are excited to now offer a contract review and analysis service that is specifically tailored for APPs. Our Contract Review for Advanced Practice Providers allows APPs to obtain the advice and guidance they need from experienced attorneys. Working exclusively on behalf of physicians and APPs, we know how employment contracts work: we know what they say, what they shouldn’t say, and most importantly, we know the ways in which the contract can be made more favorable to our clients, i.e. the providers. And also importantly, we understand that employment contracts are written by attorneys who represent the employer’s best interests. In that sense, the contract is inherently biased and unfair. We aim to level the playing field by ensuring that both parties to the agreement are represented and protected.
Our new service dedicated to APPs offers detailed analysis of the employment contract’s most important terms: compensation, restrictive covenant, and termination provisions. Beyond that, we will also share general tips and advice regarding other provisions commonly found in APP employment contracts, giving the provider the ability to gauge their contract’s reasonableness and fairness with an informed perspective. All of this is done for a flat-rate fee. We can also be engaged beyond that, in order to negotiate and revise our clients’ contracts as needed.
We genuinely feel that no one should sign a binding contract and enter an employment relationship without receiving adequate and fair-minded guidance from an attorney experienced in healthcare employment. If you would like to learn more about Contract Review for Advanced Practice Providers, contact Leigh Ann at (317) 989-4833 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Married to a physician, Leigh Ann O’Neill founded Lauth O’Neill Physician Agency when she recognized the importance of healthcare providers having someone in their corner who will guard their legal and financial interests. Leigh Ann is an expert at helping NPs and PAs negotiate employment contracts.