Contract Benefits for Medical Professionals | Chelle Law
If you’re a medical professional about to sign a contract with your employer, you may be wondering what contract benefits you should look out for. Should your employer pay for your health insurance? Will you be paid if you take some time off and go on a vacation? And how can you measure if what’s offered is fair and reasonable?
While most contracts for medical professionals offer several essential items, it’s essential to educate yourself on what to expect. This way, you can avoid misunderstanding down the road when what you thought was offered is not provided. In this article, we will look at the following contract benefits for medical professionals:
- Continued Medical Education
- Paid Time Off
- Licensing Board Fee
- Professional Societies Coverage
- Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Registration Fee
- Liability Insurance
- Disability Insurance
- Retirement Plans
- Healthcare Insurance
- Relocation Reimbursement
- Signing Bonus
As an employee, you should never assume a benefit will be covered if it’s not clearly stated in the medical employment contract. It is actually advisable to have a physician contract lawyer review your contract prior to agreeing to it. This way, you can be sure your contract benefits are well-covered and offered as they should. One oncologist, let’s call her Dr. Laura, didn’t know what to look for, and she never consulted any professional help. The result… “I didn’t get paid until I’d been there 6 weeks, and I never had any health benefits,” she said. She learned the hard way, but that doesn’t have to be your case since you know better. The following are the contract benefits to look out for in a medical contract:
Continued Medical Education (CME) Reimbursement
Medical professionals are expected to stay up to date with the current trends and techniques in the healthcare industry so as to provide the best services to patients. This can only happen if medical professionals get to learn new advancements through courses, live events, webinars, seminars, workshops, conferences, books, or journal articles.
CME will not only help you understand the latest developments in your field, but you can also add it to your CV and use it when seeking new employment opportunities. You can also expect your travel, meal, lodging, and conference entrance fees are taken care of by your employer.
Paid Time Off (PTO)
Paid time off is the amount of time you’re entitled to take a break from work without being penalized. This includes holidays, sick leave days, and vacations. The more hours you work, the more hours you’ll have as paid time off.
In most cases, physician time off policy will be governed by federal and state laws. For example, you’ll get PTO for Christmas eve but may not get it for Labor Day if your state doesn’t observe such a holiday.
Licensing Board Fees
In order to practice medicine, you must have a license from the state in which you plan to work. The fees for these licenses typically range from $50 – $500 and are renewed every 1-3 years. These fees can be expensive, but most employers will reimburse their employees for these costs.
Professional Societies Coverage
Medical professionals are encouraged to join professional societies related to their field of practice. These societies offer many benefits, including educational opportunities, networking events, and job postings. Many employers will reimburse their employees for the cost of membership in these societies. Therefore, check if your hiring employer has this listed as one of the benefit packages.
Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Registration Fee
You must register with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to prescribe controlled substances. The registration fee for this program varies depending on whether you’ll write prescriptions at your office only and how frequently you plan to prescribe drugs to patients at home who are in need. Many employers will reimburse their employees for this cost.
Most employers will provide some form of professional liability insurance for their employees. These policies are meant to protect you from being sued for malpractice. For example, if you have liability insurance and you happen to cause an injury to a patient, you’ll be covered and won’t have to face the consequences of your errors.
Liability insurance can be very handy, especially in the field of medicine, as malpractice claims can be substantial.
This type of insurance provides income replacement in the event that you become disabled and are unable to work. The amount of money you receive will depend on the policy, but it is typically a percentage of your salary. Your employers will often provide this benefit at no cost to you.
Your contract should state that you are eligible for pension plans. Most employers offer retirement plans, such as 401(k) and 403(b) (if it’s a private company), to their employees. This is a great benefit that allows you to save for retirement while getting some tax breaks. Many employers will match a certain percentage of the money you contribute to your account.
Health insurance is a vital benefit that all medical professionals should have. This type of insurance will help you cover the cost of your medical care and prescriptions. Some employers will provide premium healthcare insurance for you and your family, while some will only provide a premium for you and require you to pay for your family.
Physician relocation assistance is customarily provided to a physician when the employer assists new hires with relocating from one location to another. Relocation assistance is designed to help ease the financial burden of moving and get the employee started in their new position as quickly as possible.
A physician signing bonus is a cash payment that is provided as an enticement to accept the position. A physician signing bonus can vary dramatically from employer to employer, but a standard range would be from $5,000-$50,000.
About to Explore Contract Benefits?
Before signing an employment contract, it is important to know all the contract benefits you are entitled to. This means reading your contract carefully and asking questions where needed. This will help you avoid misunderstanding. It will also enable you to enjoy a long and prosperous career in medicine. Another consideration is whether the Agreement contains a non compete agreement.
One way to ensure all contract benefits are offered as they should is by having an employment contract lawyer review your contract or independent contractor agreement. This way, the attorney can guide and advise you accordingly. Attorney Robert Chelle is a professional contract lawyer who can help you review the benefits under your contract. He has helped many healthcare professionals, and he can help you too. Feel free to reach out for assistance today.