When physicians close or sell a practice, some of their employees may be upset about losing their jobs and may wish to leave as soon as possible. Because it is essential to retain employees to assist in closing the practice, a physician should avoid notifying employees of the closing too far in advance. Remember, however, that employees need enough notice to plan their own transitions. Retaining at least one employee on the payroll after a physician stops seeing patients helps the physician tie up loose ends.
Employees should hear about the practice closing directly from physicians before that event is announced to patients. Physicians should be fair and forthcoming about pay for overtime, unused sick time, vacation time, and pension funds.
Physicians can ease their employees' concerns by helping them locate new jobs. A physician can encourage a buyer who assumes the practice to hire the staff. When notifying colleagues of the transition, the physician can send along employee résumés. Physicians also can inform sales representatives of the transition. Sales staff members often know of openings and can spread the word regarding experienced employees who are looking for new opportunities.
Whether you are planning to retire soon or just considering a professional practice change, TMA's revised publication, Transitions: Legal Considerations in Selling or Closing a Medical Practice , will be of interest to you. The book covers notification of patients and employees, valuation of a medical practice, legal issues in practice sales, retention of medical records, dealing with subpoenas and legal issues after retirement, and information on TMA membership and benefits after retirement.
Content reviewed: 6/09/2010
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