Gone are the days when most doctors would hang their own shingle and run a private practice. These days, it’s more common for physicians to form practice groups. It’s a matter of practicality: they’re able to pool resources and serve more patients. Unfortunately, any time you partner with others, you run the risk that there will be business disputes later.
The best way to solve this is to hire an attorney at the outset, who will guide you through partnership formation and dispute resolution. The second best way to handle it is to work with a law firm that handles physician practice disputes in Austin, TX whenever conflicts arise.
What could go wrong?
Any kind of business partnership can suffer when things don’t go as planned. If you have an attorney helping set up the partnership, you’re more likely to cover issues like what happens when someone leaves the practice, how to split equity, how to remove a partner or how to merge with another group. Some of the most common issues attorneys see include:
- Ending a practice. What happens if everyone throws up their hands and quits? If you didn’t set up parameters for dividing property, profits and more when the practice ends, you could be looking at a lot of messy litigation. Think of it as divorcing with or without a prenup—the sad or negative feelings are still there either way, but only one way outlines a clear plan to resolution.
- Partners joining or leaving. What happens if a partner wants to leave, or someone has to be removed for unethical behavior? Do they receive a share of the equipment? Can they take their patients with them? If a physician joins as a partner, how will they receive equity? How will this affect existing shares?
- Mergers. Sometimes it makes sense for two or more practices to merge into one monolith. If you don’t follow the letter of the law at the outset, it could invite major problems later on down the road.
- Valuation. What is your practice worth? If someone wants to buy a partner out, sell the practice or add a new partner, it’s critical that you have valuation procedures in place.
How to choose a physician practice dispute firm
Choosing an attorney for physician practice disputes involves doing your research. Ideally, you should work with a firm that regularly handles medical-related disputes—they’re more likely to understand the legal complexities, and have reliable experts on call. Your State Bar Association can refer you to firms, or you can ask other practices if they have recommendations.
The key is to find a firm who is experienced, reliable, communicative and has a proven track record of success. Check client reviews and State Bar disciplinary records to ensure your choice is the right one.
When you need a physician practice dispute attorney, the Burk Law Firm can help. Call us today to schedule a consultation.