|Posted:||May 15, 2014 09:12 AM|
|From:||Representative Anthony M. DeLuca|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||Co-sponsorship of Legislation: Prohibiting Restrictive Covenants Not to Compete in Health Care Provider Employment Contracts|
|In the near future, I will introduce legislation to address a growing problem for doctors, nurses and other health care practitioners across the Commonwealth, employment contracts containing restrictive covenants not to compete. My legislation will address this issue by prohibiting the use of non-compete clauses in health care practitioner employment contracts.
As the trend of health care provider and hospital consolidations continues, physicians and other practitioners can find their employment options extremely limited. Employment contracts containing non-compete clauses are most often offered on a take it or leave it basis. This means health care practitioners, particularly young ones right out of school, have no option but to accept these contracts and their restrictive terms. These types of non-compete clauses effectively limit a practitioner’s ability to find a new employer, switch employers, continue seeing their patients and practicing medicine in their home community. In fact, in order to continue practicing, some physicians are forced to move to other states to avoid violating their contract.
These non-compete clauses can be so restrictive and anti-competitive that many states prohibit their use in certain professions. For instance, Pennsylvania will not enforce non-compete clauses contained in an attorney’s employment contract.
This is a particular problem in western Pennsylvania given the ongoing Highmark-UPMC dispute. While the Commonwealth was able to get UPMC to extend its contract with Highmark for one year, unless there is another contract extension Highmark cardholders will lose in-network access to their UPMC providers on January 1, 2015. Even if physicians were to leave UPMC in order to continue treating their patients on an in-network basis, many would be prohibited from treating Highmark cardholders in western Pennsylvania due to the non-compete clauses they signed with UPMC. It’s time for the legislature and the Governor to be proactive and propose a sensible solution to this very real and pressing problem.
I ask you to join me in co-sponsoring a bill that addresses a very important, non-partisan issue that could affect three million subscribers in the western Pennsylvania region alone.
Introduced as HB2327