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Career Opportunities in Pharmacy
Can a Professional Medical Corporation Stop Corporate Practice of Medicine?


In today’s video, we discuss whether having
a professional medical corporation can get you out of corporate practice of medicine
enforcement. This reminds me of a t-shirt a friend of mine
used to wear, it said: “can I pay my Mastercard bill, with my VISA?” In fact, if you’re a medical doctor, then
having a professional medical corporation can help you house your nurses, physician
assistants, and other clinical extenders in a proper corporate vehicle. A professional medical corporation can practice
medicine, so almost by definition, you’re not facing an issue of corporate practice
of “medicine” by a general corporation—by a business run by people who are not doctors. My name is Michael H. Cohen and I’m founding
attorney of Cohen Healthcare Law Group. With over a thousand healthcare practices
and businesses coming to us for legal advice, we’re deep in the weeds of this special creature,
called, healthcare law. Many healthcare businesses and practices have
questions about corporate practice of medicine and whether having a professional corporation
is the ultimate answer to the risk of enforcement. The answer is that while a professional corporation
works for healthcare professionals, if you’re creating a medical spa, a telemedicine company,
or a health and wellness software platform or app, or another business in the healthcare
space, and, you’re not a doctor, chances are that the real legal key is the legal relationship
between your business on one hand, and the professional medical corporation on the other. Often, we call this an MSO arrangement. MSO,
as you might know from the healthcare & FDA law blog on our website, references to a management
services organization. The MSO is the business end of the whole enterprise:
all the administration, operation, management and marketing that goes on to support the
medical or clinical side. So you might have, for example, billing and
coding; customer management; payroll and accounting and finance; and advertising and marketing. What you then need, to mitigate risk of corporate
practice of medicine, is a contract, or written legal agreement, between the professional
medical corporation and the MSO. This document, called an MSO Agreement, or
sometimes an MSA (which stands for Medical Services Agreement), in a nutshell spells
out what the MSO does, in terms of its business functions –and thus clearly differentiates
the MSO’s business functions from the clinical medical side. The MSA spells out a few things: 1. The rights and obligations of the professional
medical corporation. The professional medical corporation, very simply, delivers medical
services; and, the professional medical corporation hires the MSO to manage and market the whole
operation. 2. The rights and obligations of the MSO.
The MSO delivers management and marketing services, and gets paid for that. 3. The management and marketing fees, and
when they get paid by the professional medical corporation to the MSO. If you set your healthcare venture up in this
way, you’ll help mitigate the risk that enforcement authorities will flag a corporate
practice of medicine violation. As Rudyard Kipling put it: “East is East
and West is West, and never the twin shall meet.” You have these two different entities
in place, with an agreement between them. That signals investigators that you’ve invested
time in getting a legal structure that separates the medical from the business side. Thanks for watching. If you still have questions,
click on the link below to send us a message or set an appointment. Now here’s to success of your legal adventure!

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