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The Law (In Plain English) for Doctors, Dentists and Other Health Professionals

The Law (In Plain English) for Doctors, Dentists and Other Health Professionals


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The Law (In Plain English) for Doctors, Dentists and Other Health Professionals


Expert Advice for Meeting the Legal Issues Every Medical Professional Must Face

As a doctor, dentist, naturopath, or other health professional, every decision you make directly impacts your future success. Having an understandable answer to many of your business law questions can keep your practice moving forward.

The Law (In Plain English)® for Doctors, Dentists, and Other Health Professionals is your one-stop guide for making the right decision for you and your practice every time. It covers the topics that concern you the most and provides clear and accurate explanations of the laws affecting your practice. Understand all the essentials of starting and running your own successful practice, including:

  • What type of insurance you need to protect yourself and your practice
  • How to choose the best business structure for your practice
  • How to finance your practice
  • How to effectively advertise your practice
  • How to legally hire and fire employees and independent contractors
  • How to collect the money your patients owe you
  • How to find and keep your patients
  • How to keep your taxes and expenses low so you make more money

The Law (In Plain English) ® for Doctors, Dentists, and Other Health Professionals will get you started and drive you to the next level.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781572486157
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Publication date: 07/01/2008
Series: Law in Plain English Series
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 272
Product dimensions: 7.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Leonard D. DuBoff is a practicing attorney, former law school professor, and past president of the Oregon Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts. A recognized expert on art law and a frequent lecturer, he is the author of more than fifteen books on art law and art business

Michael D. Murray graduated from Loyola College in Maryland and from Columbia Law School, where he was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar. He was a member of a national champion Jessup International Law Moot Court team at Columbia, and Notes Editor of the Columbia Journal of Transnational Law. After law school, he clerked for United States District Judge John F. Nangle of the Eastern District of Missouri, and Chair of the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation. Murray also practiced commercial, intellectual property, and products liability litigation for seven years at Bryan Cave law firm in St. Louis. After leaving private practice, Professor Murray taught at Saint Louis University School of Law from 1998-2002.

Read an Excerpt

Excerpt from Chapter 1: Organizing Your Business
Everyone in business-and all professionals are engaged in business-knows that survival requires careful financial planning, yet few fully realize the importance of selecting the best legal form for the business. Small health care practices have little need for the sophisticated organizational structures utilized in large, publicly traded corporations, but since all health care professionals must pay taxes, obtain loans, and expose themselves to potential liability, it only makes sense to structure a practice so as to address these issues.

Every business has an organizational form best suited to it. When we counsel people on organizing their businesses, we usually adopt a two-step approach. First, we discuss various aspects of taxation and liability in order to decide which of the basic legal structures is best. Forms that may be available for doctors, dentists, and other health care professionals are the sole proprietorship, the partnership, the corporation, the limited liability company, the limited liability partnership, and a few hybrids. Once we have decided which of these is most appropriate, we draft the organizational documents, such as partnership agreements, corporate bylaws, or operating agreements. These documents define the day-to-day operations of a business and must be tailored to individual situations.

What we offer here is an explanation of the features of each of these kinds of organizations, including their advantages and disadvantages. This should give you an idea of which form might be best for your health care practice, though it should be noted that in many states there are limitations on the organizational forms available to health care and other professionals. We will discuss potential problems, but since we cannot go into a full discussion of the more intricate details, you should consult an experienced business attorney before deciding to adopt any particular structure. Our purpose is to facilitate your communication with your lawyer and enable you to better understand your options.

Table of Contents

Introduction to the New Edition
Introduction to the Original Edition

Chapter 1: Organizing Your Business
Sole Proprietorships
Partnerships and Joint Ventures
Limited Partnerships
What You Do Not Want: Unintended Partners
S Corporations
Limited Liability Companies
Limited Liability Partnerships
Minority Owners

Chapter 2: Business Organization Checklist
Naming Your Practice
Business Structure
Officers and Owners
Employee Benefits
Tax Treatment

Chapter 3: Advertising
Government Regulation
Problem Areas
Other Issues

Chapter 4: People Who Work for You
Independent Contractors
Employment Contracts
Other Considerations in Hiring
Hazards in the Workplace
Employee Handbooks
Zero Tolerance Policies
Family and Medical Leave Act
Termination of Employment

Chapter 5: Contracts
Types of Contracts
Understanding Contract Principles: Offer, Acceptance, and Consideration
Oral or Written Contracts?
When Written Contracts Are Required
Contracts with Businesses
Judging the Cost of Written Agreements
UCC Confirming Memorandum
Additional Terms
Summary of Essentials to Put in Writing

Chapter 6: Borrowing from Banks
The Loan Proposal
Is Your Practice Creditworthy?
Analyzing Your Practice's Potential
Options for Owners of New Practices
Short-Term or Long-Term Financing?
How Much Money Will You Need?
What Kind of Collateral Do Lenders Require?
The Loan Application
What Are the Lender's Rules and Limitations?
Details of the Agreement
The Importance of Communication When Problems Arise

Chapter 7: Collections
Point-of-Sale Payments
Credit Cards and Debit Cards
Personal Checks
Ways of Encouraging Payment
When the Payment Never Comes

Chapter 8: Renting Your Office
Recording the Lease
Restrictions and Zoning
Utilities: Who Pays for What?
Insurance for the Building and Common Areas
Security, Hours, and Zoning
Written Document

Chapter 9: Insurance
The Basics of Insurance Law
Ascertaining Risk
Additional State Regulation
Expectations versus Reality
Overinsuring and Underinsuring
Unintentional Undervaluing
Property Covered
What and When to Insure
Keeping Insurance Costs Down
Common Insurable Risks

Chapter 10: Malpractice
Negligence in General
The Standard of Care
Breach of Duty
Informed Consent
Vicarious Liability

Chapter 11: Licensing and Hospital Privileges
A Privilege, Not a Right
Licensing Requirements
Denial, Suspension, or Revocation of a License to Practice
Hospital Privileges

Chapter 12: Patient Records and Privacy
Health Care Records
Content Requirements
Length of Retention of Records
Special Confidentiality Statutes and Considerations
Necessity of Consent

Chapter 13: Bookkeeping and Accounting
Business Records and Accounting
Business Year
Cash and Accrual Bookkeeping Methods
Current and Capital Expenditures
Financial Statements
Intangible Business Characteristics
Sources of Information on Accounting

Chapter 14: Keeping Taxes Low
Income Spreading
Deferred Payments
Spreading Income Among Family Members
Tax Advantages and Disadvantages of Incorporation
S Corporations
LLC Tax Election
Taxes on Accumulated Earnings and Passive Investment Income
Qualifying for Business Deductions
Charitable Deductions
Grants, Prizes, and Awards
Health Insurance

Chapter 15: Retirement Plans
Defined Benefit Plans
Defined Contribution Plans
Profit-Sharing Plans
Salary Savings/Reduction Plans
Simplified Employee Pension Plans
Simple IRAs
Money-Purchase Plans
Employee Stock Ownership Plans
Hybrid Plans
Designing and Documenting a Plan
Employer-Sponsored Plans
Investments in a Qualified Plan

Chapter 16: Estate Planning
The Will
Intestate Succession
Spouse's Elective Share
Advantages of Having a Will
Advance Directives (Living Wills) and Other Estate Planning Documents
Estate Taxes
Distributing Property Outside the Will

Chapter 17: Finding a Lawyer and an Accountant
Finding a Lawyer
Finding an Accountant

About the Authors

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