Q: Is a non-compete agreement in New York enforceable against a doctor whose former practice is concerned about its patience list?
If a physician is subject to a non-compete agreement in New York, it very well may be enforceable. In making this determination, the court will look at several factors to decide if the restriction is fair and reasonable. The court will also consider the public’s need for access to this physician and patients’ right to make choices about medical care.
In the medical setting, employers are often concerned with former employees who have access to the practice’s patient list. This is considered a legitimate business interest of the employer. Often, the patient list is one of the most valuable assets of the practice. Other important business interests include goodwill with patients and vendors, and proprietary business information that the practice would not want its competitors to have access to.
The following are key facts relating to patient lists and physician non-compete agreements in New York:
- Courts may treat patient lists like proprietary information, similar to anyone else working in a sales position.
- Doctors subject to non-competes may not be able to continuing treating their patients after leaving the practice.
- Patient lists often take many years to compile and are assembled after investing substantial amounts of money in marketing, office software, and the hiring of employees to keep and maintain the list. Therefore, patient lists are an important asset of the business and may be entitled to protection.
Clearly, it is important to understand that a non-compete may be enforceable in the instance of a doctor who attempts to continue treating his or her patients. For more information, contact an experienced New York non-compete agreement attorney. Call our office today at (888) 497-3410. We are happy to offer a free consultation to our potential clients.