Can a Registered Nurse or Allied Health Provider Partner with MDs?
Our next scenario about how the MSO model is so useful involves another practitioner besides a doctor. Let’s say it’s an RN (Registered Nurse), or Paramedic for example. But this person is not an MD or DO; and so, they can’t practice medicine, they can only stay within their scope of practice.
Let’s say they want to set up a clinic and they want to use these weight loss devices, body sculpting, etc. Now, there are a whole set of rules under FDA law which our attorneys handle dealing with the FDA aspect of the transaction. We also get into FTC issues: truth in advertising, prohibiting false advertising.
But let’s talk about the unlicensed practice of medicine issues. Because their practitioners were not doctors, they have a limited scope of practice, they have to be careful about how they manage doing the weight loss advice and treatment and diagnosis, and prescription for the patients in the clinic.
Now, we talk elsewhere about strong vs weak or less strong corporate practice of medicine. In a way it doesn’t matter because there’s still the scope of practice. And this is a very important legal point: One should get beyond your scope of practice; you cross the line into practicing medicine without a license, and that’s a crime. So, you don’t want to be accused of unlicensed practice of medicine or of having your company practice medicine, which would be corporate practice of medicine.
So, the MSO model here provides a vehicle where, let’s say the RN or the paramedic, or some other clinician, maybe it’s a behavioral health provider, they can actually assemble a team of practitioners and they can deliver MSO services: provide space, create the clinic, get the billers, get the accountants, get the finances, get the equipment, provide all the ancillary services that are necessary to make this business work. And they are not hiring doctors, but what they’re doing is the MSO contracts with the doctors or with the professional medical corporation to provide MSO services at fair market value.
So, this is how as a business owner, whether you are a layperson or some kind of an allied health provider, you can build this structure without partnering with doctors which raises, if not corporate practice issues, fee-splitting issues. That’s why you need to talk to an MSO attorney about how to build this vehicle.