Indiana hospital eliminates physician noncompetes

Indianapolis-based Eskenazi Health's medical group has done away with noncompete clauses from its physicians' contracts, enabling them to join competing hospitals or health systems without consequence, a spokesperson for the health system told Becker's.

Eskenazi Medical Group is the sixth largest medical group in Indiana, employing more than 190 providers, including 103 physicians, according to its website. Eskenazi Health has not and does not use noncompetes, according to the health system. 

The move comes as a result of legislation changes relating to primary care providers. Earlier this year, state legislators passed a bill barring primary care physicians and employers from signing noncompete clauses. Specialty physicians are excluded from the legislation. 

"Although the new bill does not require it, EMG leadership has decided to immediately remove the noncompete clause from all new and existing employment contracts so that, going forward, no EMG employee will be subject to a noncompete," Curtis Wright, MD, CEO of Eskenazi Medical Group, said in an internal memo obtained by Becker's. "This will be accompanied by a simple amendment that deletes all references to the noncompete and buy-out provisions found in Section 4 and Exhibit A of the EMG employment contract."

In Indiana, beginning July 1, a primary care physician and an employer may not enter into a noncompete contract. A primary care physician is defined as "a physician practicing in one or more of the following: family medicine, general pediatric medicine or internal medicine."

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