Years ago, one of my former partners had a case in which a stock broker built up a huge book of business, only to have his clients “reassigned” to a famous heavy-hitter at the firm that took over the brokerage.
Your group may (does, if it’s smart) provide services at multiple sites. What steps have you taken to protect the business that you’ve developed at those sites?
It’s common for us to think about defense as building walls of sorts to keep foreign competitors out. For example, to keep Competitor X from the south side of town from taking over your relationship with Facility Y or Referral Source Z on the north side.
But depending on your practice specialty, it may be Facility Y or Referral Source Z that’s planning on “reassigning” your group members to itself.
Protecting business relationships requires a broad approach. It’s creating a combination of excellent medical services and customer service that creates an experience monopoly. It’s also a sophisticated combination of nonsolicitation, no-hire, and other restrictive covenants in your agreements with facilities. And, it’s also similar provisions and covenants not to compete and other protections in your agreements with your providers.
Restrictive covenants are creatures of state law and some provisions are favored or disfavored depending on location. But even if they are disfavored or even disallowed, there are alternatives. Each situation is different and the solution must be tailored to fit yours.
Each evening, your group’s most valuable assets, your providers, walk out the door. Wouldn’t it be great to know that they’ll be back in the morning?
Comment or contact me if you’d like to discuss this post.
Mark F. Weiss