Hospital Negotiations


When you have been a Pennsylvania physicians’ lawyer for as long as I have, you tend to develop a certain frustration with hospitals.

In 2009 I set forth a carefully considered speculation on what rules hospitals follow when they negotiate physician employment agreements and medical practice sales agreements with Pennsylvania physicians.  (OK, it was actually a rant about negotiating with hospitals).  I would love to say that things are completely different now.  Or even much different now.  Or, maybe a little different now.

Unfortunately, I think the rules I discovered as I have represented physicians over the years in hospital employment agreements and medical practice sales are still very much enforced by your friendly neighborhood health conglomerate. These rules are as follows:

Hospital Rules for Negotiating With Physicians’ Lawyers

1. We are in a great hurry. There is a deadline of _________.
2. It is unreasonable for the physician’s lawyer to change anything – that will slow the deal down.
3. Every time the physician’s lawyer does change something, we must take a week or two to get it through legal.
4. When it comes out of our legal, the physicians’ lawyer must respond immediately. See #1.
5. The fraud and abuse laws prevent us from _______ (fill in the blank).
6. If you had a real attorney, s/he would know that the deal must be 100% the way we want it. See #5. If the physicians’ lawyer disputes that simple fact, it is proof the poor fool does not know Stark.
7. We are a not-for-profit. Therefore, everything we do is for the community benefit. If the physician’s lawyer tries to get something for the physician out of the deal, it is because the physician’s lawyer and the physician are greedy.

What have I missed?

Image Courtesy of PathDoc/Shutterstock

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Dennis Hursh

Dennis Hursh

Dennis Hursh has been providing healthcare legal services in Pennsylvania since 1982. Since 1992, he has been Managing Partner of Hursh & Hursh, P.C. Dennis is a member of the American Health Lawyers Association, where he is involved in the Physician Organizations Substantive Law Committee. In addition, he is a member of the American Bar Association’s Health Law Section. He also serves as a member of the Pennsylvania Bar Association’s Health Law Section, where he is the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Professional Providers.

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