Don't get stuck with your buyer's liability

January 7, 2005

I recently sold my practice to a young physician, but agreed to stay on part time at an hourly wage. Our billing statement lists both our names and provider numbers. Could I be held liable for her actions under this arrangement?

Q: I recently sold my practice to a young physician, but agreed to stay on part time at an hourly wage. Our billing statement lists both our names and provider numbers. Could I be held liable for her actions under this arrangement?

A:Yes. To get around this problem, make sure your employment contract specifies that you're an hourly employee with "at-will" status. Otherwise, the courts could rule that your arrangement is an "ostensible partnership," making you potentially liable for your buyer's errors.

Only the new doctor-owner should have her name on the practice's letterhead, signage, and insurance claims.