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September 1988

Some Thoughts About Papering-Up a Group Practice

Author Affiliations

ESQ, Atlanta

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1988;114(9):954. doi:10.1001/archotol.1988.01860210020008

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The lawbooks are full of cases where physicians have found it necessary to go to court to untangle a group practice. Typically, one physician withdraws, retires, or is forced out of the group practice and cannot reach a financial settlement with the others. (Incidentally, lawyers themselves often end up in lawsuits when their practices break up.) Prudent physicians in a group practice address the issues before they arise. The group's documents should spell out the following items clearly in advance: (1) who will pay the "tail" premium for the group's malpractice insurance covering a former member; (2) how patient files will be handled; (3) how the former member's share of "hard assets" (building and equipment) will be valued and paid for; (4) how accounts receivable will be collected and paid; (5) whether the former member will receive anything for his interest in other arguable assets, such as an especially advantageous

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