Practitioner Resources

Good reasons doctor/therapist(s) is seeking an associate:

  • Doctor/therapist(s) is too busy & wants to reduce his/her patient load
  • Doctor/therapist(s) is busy & wants to reduce work hours, take more holidays, more time with family, hobbies, etc.
  • Doctor/therapist(s) is preparing to retire & wants to sell
  • Doctor/therapist(s) wants someone to build practice with buy in opportunity

Poor reasons for an associate:

  • Doctor/therapists wants associate to build practice with no buy in opportunity
  • Doctor/therapists wants associate to share costs/overhead

Positives of becoming an associate:

  • Low start-up cost or with no initial capital required
  • Overhead or costs are a percentage of revenue, not fixed
  • Immediate income & positive cash flow (small initially)
  • Immediate patient load (small iniytially)
  • Established location – greater opportunity for new patients
  • May have opportunity to purchase/buy in
  • Observe/learn practice operations/procedures
  • Observe/learn Doctor/therapist(s) clinical/treatment style/techniques
  • Easy access to second opinion when required
  • Trained & experienced staff – a good info source
  • Access to clinic’s contacts & suppliers
  • Access to re-activate old patient files
  • Access to evening & weekend hours – good for new patients (hard for personal life)
  • No administrative responsibilities
  • Doctor/therapist(s) is/are responsible for your source deductions

Negatives of becoming an associate:

  • No ownership, an employee, therefore little influence on issues
  • Income is slow to build, perhaps competing with existing Doctor/therapist(s)
  • Income potential is lower than ownership
  • Friction over clinical/treatment style/beliefs
  • Personality conflict with staff – no power to hire/fire
  • May rush into a poor situation/contract & be locked in for years
  • Practice not as busy as you were led to believe
  • Doctor/therapist(s) hires you to help build practice
  • Doctor/therapist(s) hires you to lower costs & overhead
  • Your dream location for practice is taken during your associate-ship

What should be included in a fair & equitable associate agreement?

  • Ensure a lawyer always evaluates the agreement prior to signing
  • Payment should be ~ 55%-65% of revenues generated for the clinic
  • Revenues should include treatments, reports & products sold
  • Payment % should increase with increasing revenues to a fixed maximum
  • Doctor/therapist(s) hours should rarely overlap, less competition
  • New patients should be evenly shared, unless patient is very specific
  • A reasonable non-compete clause
  • A non-solicitation agreement
  • A first right of refusal on the sale of the practice
  • An indemnification & save harmless clause for both parties
  • A probation period for both parties to assure the relationship is fair/equitable
  • Holidays of two-three weeks yearly
  • Not allowed to bring in other associate unless agreed upon
  • Doctor/therapist(s) responsible for all expenses except licensing & malpractice

Next: Independent contractor

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