Resolution 18-202

Submitted by: Richmond Academy of Medicine

WHEREAS,       restrictive covenants are often found in employment contracts when a physician joins a medical practice, and

WHEREAS,       the covenant can include non-compete, non-solicitation, and confidentiality agreements, and

WHEREAS,       a non-compete clause typically prohibits a physician from competing against the former practice within a region for a specified duration of time after separation from the originating practice, and

WHEREAS,       a non-solicitation clause typically delineates a specified time period during which the physician cannot solicit patients or employees from the originating practice, and

WHEREAS,       confidentiality agreements are typically indefinite and restrict the physician from sharing practice or specific trade secrets, and

WHEREAS,       restrictive covenants may protect business interest of the originating practice by limiting competition, it may result in undue hardship for the physician and limit valuable medical expertise access to the public, and

WHEREAS,       covenants to non-compete limit competition, disrupt continuity of care between physicians and patients, and limit overall access, and

WHEREAS,       non-competes may restrict the physician’s right to practice medicine for a specified time in a region, and

WHEREAS,       non-competes do not take into consideration the patient’s right to choose their individual physician, and

WHEREAS,       physicians are to practice medicine in the best interest of their patients, safeguarding confidences and privacy, and

WHEREAS,       physicians, with the exception of emergencies, should be free to choose for whom to care, with whom to associate, and in which environment to best practice medicine, and

WHEREAS,       restrictive covenant, non-compete agreements deter physician applicants, forces physicians to stay in undesirable practice environments, forces physicians to leave a region, and thereby, may devoid a region of access, medical expertise, and continuity of care, and restricts competition which will only enhance the quality of care and service, as well as drive down health care costs, and

WHEREAS,       a superior example of successful state legislation to remove restrictive covenants was enacted by the State of New Mexico in 2015 and is attached hereto as supporting documentation, and

RESOLVED,     that the Medical Society of Virginia conduct a study to evaluate and consider the impact of Restrictive Covenant agreements for healthcare providers and how it impacts patient access in Virginia. This study shall include evaluation of other states where elimination of Restrictive Covenant agreements has been successful.  Further, a report of findings shall be provided to members by December 31, 2019.

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