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Clinical Research Question

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  • Clinical Research Question

    I have been approached by a local physician who does full time clinical research. I am a specialist, and he is conducting a study that requires my specialty to examine the patients every few months. He asked me if I was interested and also wanted to know how much I would charge per patient.

    First, how would I go about logistically setting this up- a separate LLC? I am a partner in my current practice. Second, are there any liability issues with this? Finally, how do I determine my fee? I'm in a high paying specialty, so if I decide to do this, I would need a fairly high reimbursement to make it worthwhile.

    I'm trying to decide if it's worth the hassle. Any advice is appreciated. Thanks.

  • #2
    MichaelB, I am a healthcare attorney who has been practicing in this area of the law and business for over 20 years.  There are a number of issues raised by your inquiry.  In answering some of your questions, any patient interaction potentially exposes you to the risk of a claim.  Therefore, you should make sure your malpractice carrier is aware of this activity.  It is also worth pointing out that since you state you are a partner in a practice, does your partnership agreement permit you to engage in this activity?  I don't believe you would want to find yourself in violation of your agreement with your partners.  With respect to setting up a separate LLC, this depends upon the volume of activity and risk of non-professional liabilities.  If the risk is low and the volume is relatively low, setting up an LLC may not be warranted.  Finally, your fee.  There are a number of aspects to consider.  One is obviously the fair market value of your services.  The other is whether the physician doing the clinical research or whomever is sponsoring or funding the research has the ability to pay.  I would suggest that the established fair market value of your services would be the appropriate amount to charge, however, an inquiry would need to be made into the funding of the research and the availability of funds to pay for your services.  Depending upon the ability to pay, your fee requirement may need to be adjusted.  In any event, I recommend that you consult with a lawyer and accountant experienced in this area of practice.  Good luck and let me know if I can be of further assistance to you.  Gary Sastow, Esq.