Avoid a Hidden Fee in that Hospital to Physician Telemedicine Contract
When I was a kid, I watched a movie with my Mom – I think it had to do with Aladdin, or something about wizards and sorcerers. In the movie, a beautiful woman was turned into a giant bird. Now the good wizard gave her a potion to turn her back; unfortunately, the vial was incomplete. At the end of the scene, you could hear her beautiful voice, lamenting into the screen: “Not enough!”. My mom always thought that was funny, “Not Enough”.
By the end of today’s video, you’ll learn about a super-sneaky trick that was played on somebody who had a contract partly reviewed, but didn’t get the potion of legal advice all the way, so there was not enough.
I’m Michael H. Cohen, founding attorney of the Cohen Healthcare Law Group. Since 1999, our law firm has counseled hundreds and hundreds of clients on healthcare and FDA legal issues. I spent five years on faculty at Harvard Medical School and Harvard School of Public Health, developing legal programs to govern integrative medicine, and I’m a big fan of multidisciplinary approaches to healthcare, and healthcare innovation and getting complete advice.
Let’s talk about “not enough.” At first blush, it implies poverty consciousness. Not enough, and you end up with the face of a human and the body of a bird, or maybe the reverse. There’s a bad wizard on the other side.
Now let me tell you about Doctor Bob, and I’m putting a couple of scenarios together. So this is not just a single person, but I want you hear about this character that had a 2 million-dollar contract and had many of the terms successfully negotiated in his favor. The hospital lawyers were fierce, though, and at the 11th hour, Doctor Bob decided he was really satisfied with the healthcare legal advice that he got and he would do the rest on his own and save a thousand dollars in legal fees.
Every couple of months, we checked on Dr. Bob. We called, what happened? Can we get an executed copy agreement? Does he have something else to review? His secretary assured us that everything was fine, Dr. Bob was very busy with his surgeries and there’s nothing to worry about. So Dr. Bob was hiding out – listen we all hide out, especially when there’s money involved, and what happened was – as we go into more detail on part two of this video, the hospital snuck in an appendix, it was like page 114 and Dr. Bob never noticed because he signed without having the complete document reviewed. This turned out to be a tremendous mistake and he couldn’t figure out how he owed the million dollars.
Well, somebody sneaks in on page 114, by the way, great contract – here’s 2 million, but if X, Y, Z happened, you owe me a million, and you don’t look at it, you don’t show your lawyer.
Guess what? You’re going to have a hard time arguing that you don’t owe the million dollars, and that’s what happened to Dr. Bob.
So, really, it’s important to have the entire document reviewed. Sometimes the client asks us to go quickly, we might focus on the big picture. There’s a lot of things there that can trip people up, Indemnification provisions, indemnification clause (that’s a big one), payment clauses, force majeure – what if the unforeseen happens? A lot of unforeseen things have been happening in recent months, depending on when you watch this video.
So, get the entire document reviewed, that’s the moral of the story.
Well, on a happier note, we love reviewing contracts, we love to give you advice, our doors are open, our digital doors have always been open, and we’ve been helping clients successfully navigate their healthcare contracts for many years.
We look forward to serving you, and we look forward to talking to you soon.
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