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Is sharing space fee splitting?

February 17, 2016


Question:

Hi Jennifer, 

I am thinking of changing my situation and a colleague asked me if I want to share space.  I know I can't share fees with someone I am not working with in my practice.  Can I share space?

Thanks, 
Dr. P
 
Answer:

Sharing fees and sharing space certainly do not have to be related. You can absolutely share space with a colleague, but I will caution you are right to have a red flag waiving as you approach such an arrangement.  If you plan on operating as separate practices, you do have to approach with care to make sure you are documenting appropriately how monies are changing hands, and why.  Money cannot be paid for referrals. Also, you want to clearly delineate separate practices through signage and patient forms, compliance. Each separate practice has its own HIPAA requirements, for example.  Even if you share a patient, the patient information cannot be shared without proper consent in place.  

How to paper the arrangement properly will entirely depend on practically how you see the arrangement operating.  Is the arrangement a straight sublease, where you share no overlap of equipment, supplies, personnel, furniture, etc.  Or are you utilizing certain services and staffing, and maybe this is more of a license arrangement?  Or, do  you anticipate even more sharing, and we need to tailor fit a contract to best capture how the arrangement will work?  Or are you just ready to jump right in and merge, or one acquire the other?

There are a lot of I's to dot and T's to cross here.  Once you have an idea of the overlap, its time for us to have a discussion and map out our plan of action. 

 
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