Many people erroneously believe that non-competes are not enforceable against physicians in Texas. To the contrary, non-competes that are ancillary to or part of otherwise enforceable contracts generally are enforceable, provided that they meet certain statutory requirements. For example, these covenants must contain reasonable limitations as to time, geographical area, and scope of activity to be restrained. They also must not deny a doctor access to his patient list, must provide access to medical records upon patient authorization, and must provide for a buy-out of the covenant at a reasonable price. A physician may not be prohibited by a non-compete provision from providing continuing care to a patient during the course of an acute illness.
In addition to imposing an undesirable non-competition clause, a poorly reviewed employment contract can expose a doctor to many other unanticipated risks as well, including call coverage and payback obligations.
For more information on review and negotiation of physician employment contracts, please contact board-certified health care law attorney Scott Chase.