Hey, fellow PA's... Got a Client Contract? If not, why not?
A Crystal Ball is Good for Many Things — Except in Business Practices
«For thousands of years, crystal balls have been used for divination purposes to seek visions through clairvoyance and see one's future through fortune telling. This magnificent tool can enhance a diviner's psychic abilities because it can display psychokinetic energy transmitted by the individual's mind...» — top10.com
But what can a 'Crystal Ball' do for my Private Patient Advocacy business interests when it comes to how I am able to define my working relationship with my clients, their medical teams, and loved ones?
Not much, is the clearest answer I can provide.
However, a well-developed and written 'Client Contract Agreement' can spell out just exactly what you do, why you do it, and how your clients will benefit and be protected by your efforts and activities on their behalf.
Many Years in the Making
I've been working since 2017 on the development and refinement of a 'Client Contract Agreement' to utilize within my business — 'Paul W. Ennis, PPAHN – Private Patient Advocate Healthcare Navigator' — https://www.pwe-patient-advocate-navigator.com/
I've received feedback and suggestions along the way from several different attorneys and numerous clients as my contract terms have evolved.
I would like to share a 'Generic' format of my current client contract for your review and consideration (see DropBox link at the end of this blog post).
To be clear, I am not providing legal advice by sharing with you what I have developed.
I am simply wanting to spark conversations and considerations about why, or why not, you do, or do not, have a client contract format that you work with in your Patient Advocacy practice that is similar, or dissimilar, to mine.
Right Answers vs. Contract Basics
There are no 'right' answers when it comes to contract formats.
There are, however, a number of 'contract basics' that I've learned are essential ingredients for any 'Client Contract Agreement' to contain in order to protect the interests of both Clients and Patient Advocates alike.
My basic contract format contains sixteen (16) clauses — with an additional six (6) performance criteria spelled out in a 'Consulting Plan' document that is attached as an 'Exhibit A'.
Here's an outline of the basic contract language clauses I've been counseled to include at a minimum:
1. Term of Agreement
2. Services Requested
3. Rates, Fees, and Retainers
4. Method of Payment
6. Governing Law
7. Capacity/Independent Contractor
8. Voluntary Execution of Agreement
9. In Case of Dispute
10. Waiver and Amendment
11. Third Party Reimbursement Disclaimer
12. Type of Advice
13. Confidentiality and Non-Disclosure
14. Entire Agreement
16. Counterparts/Electronic Signatures
In my 'Consulting Plan' addendum I go into more specific detail about just what I will do for my clients based on the following summary statement:
«At the request of Clients, and in direct relation to Clients’ healthcare advocacy, patient navigation, end-of-life planning, and support needs, I will, during normal business hours (and at off-hours by appointment), engage in the following types of activities...»
I then utilize six (6) statements that describe in greater detail just what I can be expected to do for and on behalf of my clients.
Please Read and Reflect on Your Needs and Interests
I'm not going to dissect the details of my 'Generic Contract' any further within this post.
I am going to invite you to read and review the document template (I have provided a link to it below) so that you can see for yourself just what the 'nuts and bolts' of this type of client contract agreement are all about.
Please remember, there are no 'right' answers when it comes to the type of client contract agreement you may want to develop for your Patient Advocacy business needs.
I likely do things differently than you — you likely have a completely different set of skills and expertise than I — but, one way or the other your 'Client Contract Agreement' and mine will more than likely share a number of common traits, similarities and protections, which is a very good thing for all of us.
If the ideas and language contained within my 'Generic Contract' example ring a bell for you — please take the time to re-write, or draft anew, a 'Client Contract Agreement' that's just right for you and your interests.
Doing business as a Patient Advocate without utilizing a client contract agreement that is specific and clearly worded is like travelling at high altitude without a parachute or safety net in sight.
If my learnings can be of value to you — we'll all be better off in the long run — and I'm in it for the long run myself.
Stay safe and strong… — PWE
Please Note: This is a safe and secure DropBox link where my 'Generic Client Contract Agreement' can be downloaded for your consideration.
Editor's Note: This blog was submitted by GNA member Paul Ennis as a means of sharing his years long project of developing his own highly personalized 'Private Patient Advocate Healthcare Navigator Client Contract/Agreement'. Paul is sharing this document as an example of how clear, detailed, and personalized such documents can be. This blog should not be considered legal advice. Instead, it's one advocate's gift to other advocates, patients, clients, and loved ones so they can learn from Paul's quest to develop and create clear contract terms under which to do business as a 'Private Patient Advocate Healthcare Navigator' in today's modern world.