Physician Non-Competes

In 2018, the rules changed for physician noncompetes in Colorado.

Since 1982, physician noncompetes have been governed by a rule unique to physicians. Colorado’s noncompete statute voids “any covenant not to compete provision of an employment, partnership, or corporate agreement between physicians” that restricts the right of a physician to practice medicine. As a result of this statute, courts cannot enjoin physicians from practicing medicine – regardless of whether the physician agreed to the restriction. Colorado’s noncompete statue also provides, however, that other provisions in a physician agreement are enforceable, including provisions that require the payment of damages in an amount “reasonably related to the injury suffered”.


Continue Reading

We are Colorado lawyers and typically don’t appear in cases outside of Colorado. Nonetheless, we monitor developments in noncompete law in other states, particularly in the states near Colorado. Those developments often expose unresolved issues in Colorado, or highlight choices made in Colorado’s noncompete statute and caselaw.

In 2015, health care practitioners in New Mexico caught a break when New Mexico adopted a new statute that limits the enforcement of noncompete agreements against them. In general, the New Mexico law bars the enforcement of noncompetes against health care practitioners, but allows the recovery of relocation expenses and signing bonuses, authorizes the enforcement of non-solicitation provisions and allows the recovery of reasonable liquidated damages. About twenty five years ago, Colorado adopted legislation that bars the enforcement of noncompetes against physicians. The impetus for the legislation in the two states appears to have been similar. Both states sought to encourage physicians to remain in the state and to continue to practice medicine, particularly in rural areas.


Continue Reading

A recent Kansas case highlights the unique rules in Colorado governing non-competes for physicians. 

Kansas, like many other states, allows reasonable non-competes to be enforced against physicians. In Wichita Clinic v. Louis, a physician challenged the enforcement of a non-compete and argued, among other things, that her non-compete was unreasonable and contrary to public