Why healthcare need to 'rethink the concept of noncompetes'

As more physicians moved to employed models, many leaders feel noncompetes are no longer compatible with the physician workforce. 

Marsha Haley, MD, clinical assistant professor of radiation oncology at the University of Pittsburgh, joined Becker's to discuss how she feels about noncompetes. 

Question: How do you feel about noncompetes? 

Editor's note: This response was edited lighty.

Marsha Haley: Noncompetes were more important when physician private practices were the norm. The purpose was to prevent a physician from opening another nearby practice to directly compete with the original practice. Now that most physicians are employed by large health systems, we need to rethink the concept of noncompetes. Many large health systems have a footprint that expands several states. If a physician is let go or leaves the practice, this requires the physician to move a long distance to meet the noncompete clause. Given the size and vertical integration of health systems, they are in no danger of losing a significant number of patients to the departing physician. The physician, however, is now required to move a great distance away from children's schools and extended family to make a living.

To make noncompetes more fair and applicable to the current medical environment, they could potentially be tailored to smaller private practices but not be applicable to large health systems or private equity companies.


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