Washington Dentist Contract Attorney
Welcome to Washington: A Blend of Urban Charm and Natural Beauty
The state of Washington, known as the “Evergreen State” for its lush green landscapes, offers an exciting mix of urban and outdoor life. From the bustling tech hub of Seattle to the serenity of the San Juan Islands, there’s a slice of Washington that fits everyone’s taste. Learn more about the state’s diverse attractions on the official tourism website of Washington.
Dentistry in Washington: Opportunities Abound
Prospects for Dental Practices
With a diverse population spread across urban cities, growing suburbs, and rural communities, Washington offers a wide range of opportunities for dental practices. The thriving economy and high focus on healthcare make it a promising state for dental professionals.
Licensing Requirements for Dentists
The Washington State Department of Health oversees dental licensure in the state. Their website provides comprehensive information about the licensing process, requirements, and continued education.
Join the Washington State Dental Association
As a dentist in Washington, becoming a member of the Washington State Dental Association (WSDA) can provide valuable resources for your career. From professional development opportunities to networking events and advocacy, the WSDA supports dentists throughout the state.
Embracing the Washington Lifestyle
Housing in Washington
Washington offers diverse housing options, from high-rise apartments in downtown Seattle to cozy homes in charming small towns. For housing resources, check out Washington’s housing guide.
With national parks, mountains, and coastline, the outdoor activity options are endless in Washington. Visit the Olympic National Park for hiking and camping, or enjoy water activities on the Puget Sound.
Washington State is a cultural hub with an enriching array of experiences. Visit the iconic Space Needle in Seattle, explore contemporary art at the Seattle Art Museum, and experience musical history at the Museum of Pop Culture.
Relocating to Washington State as a dentist brings opportunities not just for a rewarding career, but also for an enriching lifestyle. Enjoy the balance of urban life, outdoor exploration, and cultural immersion that this vibrant state offers. Welcome to the Evergreen State!
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.
Dental Competition Restriction
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 Washington dental associate contract lawyers seem necessary at first glance! We also offer contract review for all states, including Virginia Dental Contract Review and West Virginia 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 Washington 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 Washington Dentist Contract Attorney for assistance.