My Bags Are Packed And I Am Ready To Go: What Not To Take With You When You Leave Employment
In this time of the seemingly constant evolution of health care, many physicians find themselves in transition either through a voluntary change or by being displaced, replaced or eliminated due to a shift in the employer’s finances, culture or other reasons.
When physicians leave employment, whether voluntarily or involuntarily, and whether employed by a hospital or not, they need to be cognizant of the responsibilities they had while employed which could potentially subject them to legal scrutiny after they leave.
Take, for example, a pathologist. If as part of employment a pathologist is the medical director of a lab or the CLIA certification is in his or her name, those roles must terminate immediately and concurrently with termination of employment. Overlooking the CLIA certification can create potential issues for the pathologist as the pathologist is still responsible for the lab certification even though he or she may no longer be allowed in the lab.
As part of their employment, many physicians are medical directors, lab directors or have collaborative or supervision agreements with APNs and PAs all of which can make them responsible for certain operations and/or quality of care. There can be a risk to the exiting physician if the insurance covering the physician in those roles ends at the termination of employment as the physician has no control of what goes on after employment is terminated.
When leaving employment, always review the roles you played while employed and make a written record of them. Be sure to advise your former employer of the steps that need to be taken to terminate those roles. If your employer cannot provide evidence that you have formally been removed from those responsibilities, take steps yourself such as submitting letters of resignation or notifying certifying or accrediting agencies that you are no longer performing those roles. To make it easier on yourself, think about contemplating these roles when you negotiate your employment agreement up front and request that your employment agreement states that additional roles, such as collaborating physician with an APN, will terminate concurrently with your employment agreement.
You may benefit from seeking legal advice during this process. We are available to help should you need assistance.
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Articles distributed by Malecki & Brooks Law Group, LLC are advertisements and summaries for general information and discussion purposes only. They are not full analyses of the matters presented, legal, or otherwise, and may not be relied upon as legal advice.
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