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Is Kaiser considered competition?

Discussion in 'Ophthalmology: Eye Physicians & Surgeons' started by luxpara, Aug 9, 2011.

  1. luxpara

    luxpara Junior Member
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    Odd question - If you do an academic fellowship in an area, are you not allowed to apply to Kaiser jobs in the same area? They have 2 different pt populations right?
     
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  3. eyehope

    eyehope Junior Member
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    Do you mean non-compete clauses?

    Usually they are worded in such a way that you cannot compete directly or indirectly with the entity, so Kaiser would be considered competition. I am not familiar with Kaiser, but I assume some plans allow you to go out-of-network.
     
  4. luxpara

    luxpara Junior Member
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    we didn't sign anything. We don't want to rock the boat - but we want to be able to live where we want.
     
  5. JMK2005

    JMK2005 Member
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    If you're in California, then non-compete are illegal, but practices will still include it in the contract. You're right that Kaiser is not really competition since the patient pools are very different. Since you have a valid point, you may specifically mention it in the contract that an HMO entity such as kaiser does not apply to the non-compete clause.
     
  6. Visionary

    Visionary Medical Retinologist
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    If you didn't have to sign a non-compete, you can apply and work wherever you want. Don't worry about rocking the boat. Your attendings have jobs. You're the one looking.
     
  7. orbitsurgMD

    orbitsurgMD Senior Member
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    You should try to remove the non-compete clause completely, especially if it specifies terms of irremediable losses and liquidated damages, which many do. The present legal climate in California may view these clauses as unenforceable in the state, but if that were to change, you might find your contract terms an encumbrance if you left your job. Also, I suspect that the enforcement generally depends on the parties; the courts may have found that clauses in employment contracts are not enforceable, but in other types of contracts they might be enforceable, for instance if you sold your practice to a buyer with a non-compete clause against the seller.

    Institutional employment like Kaiser, the VA and the military are generally not excluded, although I doubt any employer would want to challenge this over a contract, there would be a substantial argument that the patient population was not one that the practice either serviced or could expect to service. As a rule, non-compete clauses have to be based on reasonable expectations that competing would result in harm to the practice, which the example would not, and the restrictions have to be drawn reasonably both on duration and distance from the practice's business locations. Overly burdensome restrictions are thrown out completely in some states and may be re-drawn by judges to less restrictive terms in others ("blue-pencil states".) Some states do not allow a practice to draw excluding territories from locations that are not owned by the practice, hospitals and surgery centers, for example, or from locations once occupied by but subsequently abandoned by the practice.
     
  8. KHE

    KHE Senior Member
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    I'm not an expert in this field but I have some experience and what I've learned from people in the legal field is that for a non-compete to be enforceable, there has to be something given in exchange for that non compete.

    It can't simply be a condition of employment. For example, you will be given a signing a bonus or the practice will subsidize some sort of research project you want to do or whatever. But there has to be some value in exchange for the non compete.
     
  9. orbitsurgMD

    orbitsurgMD Senior Member
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    The legal term is "consideration." In hiring, the offer of a job itself is itself the consideration, in many instances, and it does qualify. Once hired, however, any addition to the terms of the contract in the way of non-competition terms usually requires some consideration, a bonus, pay increase or something else given in exchange for the heavier terms; continued employment does not qualify.

    Some (nefarious) employers will terminate a contract without cause to force re-negotiations to terms of their liking, which may not necessarily include anything additional in terms of consideration, sort of like hitting the "reset" button. Of course, the employee may not agree to re-negotiate, in which case your plan blows up in your face. That is what happened to one of my former employers. Oh well, you live and learn.
     
    #8 orbitsurgMD, Aug 10, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2011

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