During this time of year, hospitals are busy planning and developing initiatives for the coming year. This includes the assessment and renewal of various physician arrangements as well as finalizing both physician employment and recruitment agreements. In addition to these traditional types of agreements, it is not uncommon for hospitals to have contractual agreements with independent physicians for services such as medical directorships, office space leases, on-call arrangements, recruitment agreements and professional services agreements. Many hospitals focus on the initial physician contract development itself, taking steps so that appropriate provisions are included and that the contract is fully analyzed by the legal department of the hospital or by outside counsel. But some hospitals may lack appropriate monitoring procedures that can assist with continued contract compliance.
If such systems are not already in place, hospitals should consider creating and maintaining a database of existing, new or renewed physician contractual arrangements potentially including the identity of the parties, a description of goods and services provided under the arrangement, compensation methodology and amount and documented fair market value for each transaction, preferably by an independent third party.
Given various government enforcement initiatives, hospitals may consider analyzing the documentation available for their physicians’ contractual arrangements. This analysis can assist in identifying potential areas at risk for violations of the Anti-Kickback Statutes or Stark Law.
Based on issues that an internal assessment may trigger, hospitals can work with their legal counsel to determine the appropriate scope for an internal assessment of existing physician contractual arrangements.
The attached checklist should assist in identifying areas needing further review.
For further information regarding the Development of your Physician Contract Compliance
John W. McDaniel, MHA
Founder and Chairman
Peak Performance Physicians, LLC
909 Poydras Street – Suite 2600
New Orleans, LA 70112
800-764-2633 (office) 504-453-8108 (cell)