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Perspectives on the locum tenens industry

Understanding Your Locum Tenens Contract

When taking on a new assignment, it’s important that you fully understand your locum tenens contract. Typically, locum tenens agreements are more straightforward than permanent contracts due to the independent contractor status, and your recruiter should do a good job of explaining everything in the agreement before you sign. Still, it is always a good idea to have some previous knowledge of your own.

Below are five important areas of locum tenens agreements you should be aware of:

1.) Malpractice Insurance
Even in low-risk specialties, like family medicine, an estimated 75% of doctors will be named in a malpractice suit by age 65. Because of this, it is important to make sure you are covered while on an assignment. When looking over your locum tenens contract, make sure it is made clear whether malpractice insurance is provided or if you will be required to secure your own. Luckily, Interim Physicians provides malpractice insurance coverage to all of our physicians and advanced practitioners at no cost to them during their assignments with us. Most Locum Tenens malpractice coverage will be a claims made policy, with unlimited tail.

2.) Non-solicitation
You will be required to sign a non-solicitation clause before beginning your assignment. A non-solicitation is something that prevents a client from soliciting our doctors to work at their facility after we have submitted their CV. This protects us from a client bypassing us and going to the physician directly. It’s also important that as a physician or advanced practitioner, you understand that you must grant permission for to an agency to release your CV to a client.

3.) Payment
How often you will be paid and method of payment should be made very clear in your locum tenens contract. To be paid, the locum tenens agency will need to know the days and hours worked, usually in the form of a time sheet. To ensure timely payments, you should provide this information as soon and regularly as possible. One of the many perks of working with Interim Physicians is the option for weekly payments via direct deposit. By having your hard earned money deposited directly into your bank account, you’ll have one less thing to worry about.

4.) Expenses
Your locum tenens contract should also cover details about which expenses are covered by the facility or the physician. Expenses can include anything from, airfare, rental cars, gasoline, and hotel stays. Majority of our clients cover travel and lodging expenses, but the exact details of what this means can vary. That’s why it is important to always make sure you understand what is and isn’t covered and keep receipts for all travel expenses. Unlike other staffing companies, Interim Physicians does not outsource our travel booking services. Our dedicated in-house travel staff uses an Airlines Reporting Corporation (ARC)-certified program for booking travel, and all costs of using this program are paid for by Interim Physicians, never our physicians or facilities.

5.) Cancellations
It’s important for you to understand what your responsibilities are as a locum tenens physician and what should happen in the event of a cancelled agreement, whether cancelled by you or the client. Cancellations are typically with 30-days’ notice by either the client or the physician. No shifts can be cancelled within that time frame without cause.

If there is any part of your agreement that you have questions about or are unsure of, always discuss it with your recruiter. They are there to help you and ensure that you are fully informed and comfortable with what you are signing.

Building a strong relationship with your recruiter is one of the best ways to land the job you want and be successful as a locum tenens physician. Speak with one of our talented recruiters today by calling (800) 226-6347 to find your next locum tenens adventure.