Termination “For Cause” in Physician Employment Agreements

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The topic of termination for cause in physician employment agreements is obviously a delicate one. Employers have a  legitimate desire to make sure they can terminate a physician’s employment agreement if the physician terms out to be a lousy physician, or if patient demand just doesn’t justify paying the physician any longer.

A physician employment agreement should provide reasonable protection to both the physician and the employer if either party fails to live up to the bargain. The agreement should also provide reasonable flexibility for both parties to get out of the deal, even if the other party didn’t do anything wrong – or “without cause” termination of physician employment agreements. In legal jargon, the phrase “for cause” refers to termination of a physician employment agreement because the other party breached it. A party can terminate the agreement for cause if the other party didn’t do what it was supposed to do, or did something it wasn’t supposed to do. A party can also terminate the agreement “without cause” (or “not for cause”) even though the other side didn’t do anything wrong.

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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 a physician's lawyer serving as Managing Partner of Physician Agreements Health Law. Dennis has devoted his life to serving physicians and physician organizations, such as POs, IPAs, CINs and medical practices. He is the author of the definitive book on physician contracts "The Final Hurdle - a Physician's Guide to Negotiating a Fair Employment Agreement, and a frequent lecturer on physician employment agreements.

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