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What do Non-Compete Agreements Mean for Healthcare Professionals?

Non-compete agreements are not unusual in the dental and/or medical field. In fact, these agreements can be necessary for protecting your business interests.

Healthcare non-compete agreements are a hot topic in Ohio this year. First, there was an article in The Columbus Dispatch regarding physicians at a local children’s hospital and their 100 mile non-compete clause.

This article was followed by an Ohio Appellate Court decision upholding a non-compete situation, which was adjudicated, involving a dentist and a 30 mile non-compete agreement.

What are non-compete agreements?

Non-compete agreements are not unusual in the dental and/or medical field. In fact, these agreements can be necessary for protecting your business interests.

A non-compete agreement is a legal covenant in contract law to not compete. In this contract, one party agrees to not practice in a similar profession in competition with another party. The purpose is to protect an employer/new owner’s interests.

What do non-compete agreements mean for you?

When leaving or selling a dental practice it is important to understand any contractual arrangement you have agreed upon with your employer or the new practice owner.

Most non-compete agreements will have a time, geographic and activity component. In Ohio, the courts have interpreted distance, the geographic component, on a straight line distance rather than a driving distance. However, each state may be different. A simple phone call to your attorney could save a major headache and potentially thousands of dollars.

If you are an employer or new business owner considering instituting a non-compete agreement, contact your attorney. The drafting of non-compete agreements requires the knowledge of an attorney to ensure its enforceability.

If you have yet to establish a relationship with an attorney who is knowledgeable in non-compete agreements, reach out to your local dental society for assistance in locating one. 

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