Without the inclusion of an object similar to a ”pandemic,” parties wishing to suspend or avoid the performance of their contractual obligations are likely to rely on the ”act of God” or nature as a justification for excusing performance. But Georgian jurisprudence on what is an ”act of God” remains silent as to whether a pandemic is considered as such. And not all of God`s actions are equal. Some explicitly or contextually limit God`s qualifying actions to things such as weather events. Others are more expansive. CPOM prohibitions may be found in state laws or regulations, or they may be derived from judicial decisions or attorneys general. CPOM laws provide for the type of relationships that health care companies can have with physicians (i.e. employment against independent contractors, etc.). A doctor`s contract is tied to a doctor-employment contract, but it differs from a doctor`s employment contract.
In employment contracts, a hospital or other health care provider sets the conditions for hiring a physician who must work for them. As a general rule, employment contracts are specifically established to comply with federal laws that process transfers. In the event of hiring, the recently hired physician is able to obtain federal transfers to hospital and outpatient settings (called in Stark Health Services or ”DHS”). The proposed financial relationship must remain in agreement with Stark and face very strict requirements for both parties. (For more information, click here.) Whether a pandemic or epidemic would be considered an ”act of God” has not been addressed by Georgian courts. Therefore, it seems open to know whether a party would be excluded from the performance of a contract because of the COVID 19 pandemic. In particular, however, the Georgia Supreme Court has ruled that the obligation to pay money from a contract is not excused, even if the non-payment is due to the fact that the payer is sick and has become unable to act and is dead. See Hipp v. Fidelity Ins.
Co., 128 Ga. 491 (1907). For economic and other reasons (often legitimate and understandable), employers do not always put the interests of a physician or health care provider first when it comes to the details of the contract. Physician pay changes with the redesign of incentives to pay in the health sector. And below-average wages and ambiguous notions are common. Without the assistance of an experienced health contract lawyer, conditions can affect the career of a physician or individual provider. When reviewing any health marketing, consulting or research agreement, a state regulator will likely want to know what the parties` business reasons are for entering into the agreement. What cost savings can suppliers, for example, offer manufacturers who encourage them to enter into agreements with suppliers rather than recruiting their own health care professionals to perform the same functions? How will the data collected by suppliers be used? Is the compensation paid to suppliers in exchange for consulting or research services in the provision of consulting or research services appropriate and at fair value, even if there is no opportunity to do business for the supplier`s supplier or employer? To the extent that a marketing agreement involves the Stark Act, health care providers should structure it to meet an exception to the strong law. Like the AKS, the Stark Act provides that the good faith exemption can be used for the working relationship of physicians who can market on behalf of a health care provider providing DHS.
Apart from the exception regime for employment, the exception for person services of the strong law may also offer protection for marketing agreements between health care providers and organizations providing DHS. With the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2010, compliance programs became mandatory.