Last Updated: Jul 1, 2020
A bill to prevent the use of non-compete agreements in health care practitioners' employment contacts has been introduced in Pennsylvania House of Representatives. Rep. Torren Ecker sponsored the legislation – House Bill 2636 – which was referred to the House Professional Licensure Committee on June 29, 2020.
The Pennsylvania Medical Society (PAMED), whose policy supports this legislation, believes restricting non-compete clauses will directly benefit patients who may otherwise lose their ability to see the physician of their choice due to their provider’s change of employment. PAMED will be working closely with lawmakers as the measure moves through the legislative process.
As we continue to see an increase in hospital consolidations statewide and the resulting expansion of certain health systems, the footprint of an employer can be cast almost statewide. As a result, clinicians employed by these large systems are often prevented from working within certain regions of the state if they decide to change their employment status.
What would the bill do?
The legislation would deem any non-compete language in an employment agreement for a health care practitioner to be against public policy. The bill would prohibit non-compete agreements that restrict:
- Movement of a health care practitioner to a new employer
- A health care practitioner from practicing within a geographic area
It would also permit health care practitioners to notify their patients as to their new affiliation.
Additionally, the bill would require the previous employer to make available to the separating health care practitioner all contact information and existing electronic medical records of the prior patients of the health care practitioner.
Policy passed by physician and medical student delegates at PAMED’s annual House of Delegates meeting directs PAMED to seek legislation prohibiting non-compete restrictive covenants in employment contracts. We support HB 2636 and will continue to urge lawmakers to pass this bill.
We will closely monitor the status of the legislation and share any status changes with our members.