The employment contract is an important part of the health care world. It is a way for doctors to prevent or control the kinds of disputes that can arise in their professional dealings with other medical practitioners and patients. The terms and conditions of a physician employment contract are often related to payment amounts, as well as insurance coverage. Many contracts are meant to be mutually beneficial for all parties involved in the arrangement.
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A doctor’s contract should protect the health care provider from medical malpractice lawsuits and protect the doctor from patients who are disgruntled. A physician employment contract should also prohibit inappropriate conflicts of interest in the relationship between the two parties. It may also cover pre-existing conditions and refer the service to another doctor, when necessary. Not only does this have the effect of reducing costs for the medical office, but it also avoids unnecessary legal conflicts.
There are many scenarios where a physician’s employment contract would be helpful. Some offices provide payment and insurance for their employees before they begin work. This means they don’t have to start from scratch when they meet their patients for the first time. Other contracts offer assistance if the need arises to get a medical procedure performed. For example, there are contract agreements that would cover the cost of a blood test if the patient had pre-existing conditions that would disqualify them from receiving the test.
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Payment and insurance coverage in a physician employment contract agreement vary by state and even by health care association. Some agreements require a doctor to pay his or her charges for a specific period of time. Other agreements allow a doctor to receive payments for a certain number of services and maintain insurance coverage for the same number of services.
Payments are often billed on a monthly basis. Payment options may be fixed-fee, fee-for-service, or a combination of both. Most contracts also have pre-defined income limits and reimbursements which the doctor may exceed, as long as those exceed the limits set by the agreement. There are also no deductibles and payment within twenty-four hours.
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If the physician begins working with a patient without paying him or her upfront fees, this is usually not allowed. An insurance plan must be in place in order to provide coverage to the physician. The insurance plans will typically provide coverage after a patient has met the requirements of the doctor’s employment contract.
Some clinical and contractual documents are meant to protect the doctor from dealing with a specific patient. These documents can be invalidated, for example, if the physician refers a patient to another medical practitioner without a clear contract. These include emergency room visits and appointments with family physicians.
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One important aspect of a physician employment contract is the right to request insurance information about a patient. Patients and providers can agree to have a pre-approved list of providers to use for future encounters. If the two parties cannot agree on a standard list, then the provider is obliged to obtain the necessary information.
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