Maine Dentist Contract Attorney
Familiarizing Yourself with Maine
Maine, the northeasternmost U.S. state, is known for its rocky coastline, maritime history, and nature areas like the granite and spruce islands of Acadia National Park. This beautiful state offers a unique blend of outdoor adventure and cultural sophistication. To learn more about the diverse lifestyles and attractions in Maine, the official state website is a great place to start.
Dentistry in Maine
Dental Practices and Opportunities
Whether you’re looking to join a large practice in a city like Portland or start your own in a charming small town, there are opportunities for dentists throughout the state. In addition to traditional practices, the state is open to innovative healthcare models like dental health therapist programs.
Maine Board of Dental Practice
Before you set up your practice, familiarize yourself with the Maine Board of Dental Practice. The Board oversees the licensing of dentists, dental hygienists, and dental radiographers. They also handle investigations of complaints made against these professionals, making them an essential resource for legal and ethical guidelines.
Maine Dental Association
Joining the Maine Dental Association (MDA) can offer many advantages, such as professional development, advocacy, networking opportunities, and access to resources to help manage your practice. The MDA also organizes regular events and continuing education programs.
Living the Maine Lifestyle
Maine’s diverse landscape is perfect for outdoor activities. You can enjoy hiking in Acadia National Park, boating along the extensive coastline, or skiing in the mountains. Maine’s many nature trails are also perfect for cycling or leisurely walks.
Maine is rich in culture and history. You can explore the historic lighthouses, visit the state’s many art museums, or enjoy a theater performance in Portland’s vibrant arts district.
Food and Festivities
Maine’s culinary scene is world-renowned, particularly for its fresh seafood – including the famous Maine lobster. The state also hosts various food festivals throughout the year, offering a fantastic way to explore local cuisine.
Moving to Maine offers the opportunity to be a part of a close-knit, community-oriented culture. As a dentist, you’ll find that the state’s commitment to healthcare provides a welcoming professional environment. Enjoy your new adventure in the Pine Tree State, and welcome to your new home!
Important Terms in a Medical Contract
Dentists with non-competes in their dentist employment agreements were initially considered restraints of trade. Thus, they were invalid in public policy at common law. However, many restraints on trade incident to healthcare contracts were upheld based on the rule of reason. Thus, restrictive covenants between dentists not to compete after the termination of employment are generally enforceable as long as it is reasonable.
However, there are a few states which prohibit non-compete clauses. Please review your state laws for non-compete rules and regulations to see the specific rules for your state.
The general test for reasonableness of these clauses holds that on termination of employment, a covenant that restrains an employee from competing with his former employer is termed reasonable if:
- The restraint is not more than required to protect the employer,
- It does not inflict any untold hardships on the employer, and
- The restraint is not detrimental to the public.
In one such case, a provider restricted from practicing his specialty after leaving the hospital where he worked had their non-competition clause considered unreasonable. The judge ruled that this would be harsh if enforced because there are only a few other hospitals in the area with subspecialties like this one. They needed to protect themselves by preventing transfers of knowledge between providers.
Courts generally find that these clauses were only enforceable if there was some legitimate interest from the employer and would damage their ability to find qualified staff later or hurt public health care. Those needing legal advice should consult an attorney before signing any contract. Hence, they know what rights may come into play when things go wrong with their current job, regardless of whether non-compete reviews by Maine dental associate contract lawyers seem necessary at first glance! We also offer contract review for all states, including Louisiana Dental Contract Review and Maryland Dental Contract Review.
Dental Employment Agreement Checklist
Employee or dental contracts are all unique. However, nearly all medical and dental professional contracts for dental providers should contain several essential terms. If these contracts do not spell out the critical terms, disputes can arise when there is a disagreement between parties regarding the details of the specific term. For instance, if the doctor is expecting to work Monday through Thursday and the employer thinks it’s Monday through Friday. Still, the particular workdays are absent from the contract—who prevails?
Spelling out the details of a dentist’s job is crucial to avoid healthcare contract conflicts during the employment contract term. Below is a checklist of important terms that contracts should contain (and a brief explanation of each term generally discussed in negotiations):
- Practice Services Offered: What are the clinical patient care duties? Is there time for a review of administrative tasks? How many patients is the dentist expected to see? Is an Orthodontist or Pediatric Dentist on site?
- Patient Care Schedule: What days and hours are employees expected to provide patient care per week? What is the surgery schedule? Are employees involved in the planning of their schedules?
- Locations: Which facilities will the employer schedule the employees to provide care at (outpatient clinic, surgical sites, in-patient services, etc.)?
- Outside Activities: Are employees permitted to pursue moonlighting or locum tenens opportunities? Does a physician need permission from the employer before accepting medicine-related positions?
- Disability Insurance: Is disability insurance provided (short-term and long-term)?
- Professional License: Will the practice offer reimbursement for licensing? Will an advisor be provided?
- Practice Call Schedule: How often is the employed physician on call (after-hours office call, ASC, hospital call (if applicable))?
- Electronic Medical Records (EMR): Will the employer provide training resources or time to review the system before delivering care?
- Base Compensation: What is the annual base salary? What is the pay period frequency? Does the base compensation increase over the term of the agreement? Is there a yearly review or quarterly review of compensation? Is there a group management relationship?
- Productivity Compensation: If there is productivity compensation, how is it calculated (wRVU, net collections, patient encounters, etc.)? Is there an annual review?
- Practice Benefits Summary: Are standard benefits offered: health, vision, dental, life, retirement, etc.? Who is the advisor of human resource benefits?
- Paid Time Off: How much time off does the job offer? What is the split between vacation, sick days, CME attendance, and holidays? Is there an HR guide?
- Continuing Dental Education: What is the annual allowance for CME expenses, and how much time off do they offer?
- Dues and Fees: Which business financial expenses are covered (board licensing, DEA registration, privileging, ADA membership, Board review)?
- Relocation Assistance: Is relocation assistance offered? What are the repayment obligations if the contract is terminated before the expiration of the initial term?
- Signing Bonus: Is an employee signing bonus offered? When is it paid? Does the employee have to pay it back if they leave before they complete the initial term? Are student loans paid back? Is there a forgiveness period for student loans?
- Professional Liability Insurance: What type of liability insurance (malpractice) the employer offers: claims made, occurrence, self-insurance? License and litigation defense? Can you negotiate tail?
- Tail Insurance: If tail insurance is necessary, who pays for it when the agreement terminates?
- Term: What is the length of the initial term? Does the agreement automatically renew after the initial term?
- For Cause Termination: What are the grounds for immediate termination for cause? Is a review provided to dispute the termination?
- Without Cause Termination: How much notice is required for either party to terminate the agreement without cause?
- Practice Post-Termination Payment Obligations: Will the physician receive production bonuses after the agreement terminates?
- Non-Compete: How long does the non-compete last, and what is the prohibited geographic scope?
- Financial Retirement: Is a financial retirement plan offered?
- Non-Solicitation: How long does it last, and does it cover employees, clients, patients, and business associates?
- Notice: How is the notice given? Via hand delivery, email, US mail, etc.? Does it have to be provided to the employer’s attorney?
- Practice Assignment: Can the employer assign the agreement? Will the healthcare agreement require ongoing compliance with a new employer?
- Alternative Dispute Resolution: If there is a conflict regarding the contract, will mediation or arbitration be utilized? What is the standard attorney review process for disputes? Who decides which attorney oversees the process?
Dental Law Firm for a Maine Dental Contract
Coming into a new organization with a favorable contract can put the dentist in a positive financial situation for years to come. We also offer occasional dental product reviews. Before you sign the most important contract of your life, turn to an experienced Maine Dentist Contract Attorney for assistance.