Dear physician, where are the contracts?


Even after many years of working with physicians, I am still surprised by the poor record-keeping habits of private practices. I'm not talking about medical record documentation -- that's a whole other issue. What I'm talking about is business records -- and more particularly legal agreements. When a physician client contacts me with a problem, very often it involves some contractual relationship such as a managed contract, employment agreement, service agreement or lease. Of course, my first request is that they send me a copy of the signed agreement underlying the relationship. Amazingly, more often than not I am told that they don't know where the signed agreement is or they send me an unsigned draft or an expired agreement.

So are your contracts organized? When was the last time they were reviewed? Are they outdated? If I came in to your office tomorrow, can you put your hands on any contract I ask for? Please give this issue some priority before the end of the year.

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