Last year, Independent Health elected to drop CCS Oncology from its list of providers. This caused CCS’ 2,600 active patients to choose between their care provider or their insurance provider. Approximately half of those patients left CCS, along with 10 physicians. CCS has recently filed a lawsuit against two of those physicians for violating the terms of their employment agreements. Robert Boreanaz, a senior partner in the Labor and Employment Practice Area at Lipsitz Green Scime Cambria, spoke to the Buffalo News about what those terms were and whether CCS has a valid case. The full story is available on the Buffalo News website.
Cancer care practice formed at Kaleida
According to the Buffalo News, Independent Health chose to drop CCS Oncology from its list of approved health care providers after 16 months of unsuccessful negotiations regarding a new reimbursement model for services. After half of the practice’s patients and 10 of its physicians left, six of those physicians went to work at Kaleida Health’s General Physician PC. There, they formed a cancer care practice. CCS then filed a lawsuit against two of those physicians for allegedly violating the terms of their employment agreements.
The lawsuit claims that the doctors violated the terms of their employment contracts, which stated that they were prohibited from treating CCS patients or practicing medicine within a certain distance from CCS offices for a time period of one year after leaving the practice, the Buffalo News reports. Mr. Boreanaz told the Buffalo News that non-compete and non-solicitation clauses like this one are common in contracts for physicians, business executives, and other professionals. “The non-compete clauses typically have to be reasonable in their scope and jurisdiction,” he explained.
Employee has rights to challenge non-compete clause
Mr. Boreanaz told the Buffalo News that, in his experience, a judge would likely find geographic restrictions of not working for a competitor located within 20 miles for one year after leaving the practice to be reasonable. He went on to say that non-compete clauses are generally “black and white” and “very enforceable”, but that they can be challenged if the new position differs greatly from the previous one in income, job title, or responsibility.
About Robert L. Boreanaz
Mr. Boreanaz, a member of Lipsitz Green Scime Cambria’s Labor and Employment Practice Area, focuses his on union-side labor law and plaintiff-side employment law. He has extensive trial experience, arguing before state, appellate, and federal courts.