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Can I non medical person (non physician) own a medical

Customer Question

Can I non medical person (non physician) own a medical practice in Maine?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 1 year ago.

Dear Customer,

This issue falls under the "Corporate Practice of Medicine" laws.

Maine (like many other states) does not have a specific statute regarding this, and is one of the few states that would allow a non-physician to own a medical practice. However, I would highly recommend receiving legal counsel to assist you in setting up this practice.

Here is a well written summary of this law (pulled from this publication: https://www.healthlawyers.org/Archive/Program%20Papers/1996_AM/[1996_AM]%20CORPORATE%20PRACTICE%20OF%20MEDICINE-%2050-STATE%20SURVEY.pdf)

  • MAINE Name of attorney: Linda S. Crawford, Esquire Law Firm or Organization: Linda Crawford & Associates Address:*****Box 268 H Hallowell, ME 04347 Telephone:(###) ###-####Fax:(###) ###-####E-mail: Iscrawford @ aol.com Corporate Practice of Medicine Title of CPM Statute: None specifically dealing with CPM‘ General statutes: Professional Services Corporation Act, The Non-Profit Corporations Act and the Board of Licensure in Medicine statute Statutory Cite: 13 M.R.S.A. 701 et. seq., 13-B M.R.S.A. 1307 and 32 M.R.S.A. 3270 AHLA Seminar Materials Text of Statute: The Professional Services Corporation Act provides for the “incorporation of an individual or group of individuals to render the same professional service to the public for which such individuals are required by law to be licensed.. . . ” but requires that each such shareholder in a professional services corporation be a duly licensed professional in the area of corporate practice. “Professional service” includes “any type of personal service to the public which requires as a condition precedent to the rendering of such service the obtaining of a license or other legal authorization and which prior to October 1, 1969 and by reason of law could not be performed by a corporation” The professional services rendered by physicians and surgeons are specifically named as services subject to the Act. With respect to non-profit corporations, 13-B M.R.S.A. 1307 of the NonProfit Corporations Act specifies that “except as otherwise expressly provided by law, a non-profit corporation shall not be required to obtain a license or to be registered to practice a profession or occupation.” 32 M.R.S.A. 3270 states “unless duly registered and licensed by said Board (of Medicine), no person shall practice medicine or surgery. . . . ” Regulatory Cite: Interpretive Ruling Cites: Opinion of the Board of Licensure in Medicine, November 2, 1992. Court Decision Cites: Small v. Maine Board of Registration in Optometry, 293 A. 2d 786 (Me. 1972) Summary of Current Law on CPM: There is no specific statute in Maine on the corporate practice of Medicine. To the extent there MAY be a prohibition against it, it is contained in the corporations statutes cited above.. However, as the Board of Licensure in Medicine said in its advisory opinion, “The Board felt it could not opine on matters outside of its purview, such as the working out of corporation law as set forth in Title 13. Nonetheless, in respect to physicians subject to its license and jurisdiction, pursuant to Title 32, C. 48, the Board holds each individually accountable for his/her conduct without regard to any employment relationship. Whether a salaried employee of a corporate entity, a principal in a Professional Association, a partner, or a self-employed solo practitioner, each licensee of the Board must answer for their exercise of clinical judgment, ethics, and competency. None may defend themselves against a Board complaint by asserting that ‘company policy,’ not his conduct, is at issue.” Other state agencies, see below, have consistently authorized the employment of physicians by organizations not comprised solely of physicians, both for profit and non-profit. Summary of Exceptions or Exemptions: Related Rules on Medical Practice Organization/ Structure/Operation Title of Statute or Other Authority: Health Care Finance Commission Statutory Cite: 22 M.R.S.A. 396-L4 et. seq. (now repealed). Regulatory Cite: Commission Rules (C.M.R.) Interpretive Ruling Cites: Osteopathic Hospital of Maine, Health Care Finance Commission, Case No. 89-133 (January 19, 1990)‘ Maine Medical Center, Health Care Finance Commission, Case No. 88-89 (August 19, 1988) among others Court Decision Cites: None Summary of Current Law : The Health Care Finance Commission, established to control the cost of health care in Maine, is in the process of being abolished and AHLA Seminar Materials replaced by the Maine Health Data Organization, effective June 30, 1996 (LD 1788). However, during its existance the Commission regularly approved the structuring of health care entities, both for profit and non profit, for the purpose of purchasing physician practices and the employment of physicians as employees. Summary of How Physician Organizations Are Currently Being Structured in the State: (1) as freestanding entities and/or (2) in combination with hospitals or health systems Physician Organizations (POs) are currently being structured as: 1. For profit POs, both as specialty practices and as groups of multiple primary care physicians and specialists, 2. Non-profit PO associations, configured as in #1 above and 3. An HMO (currently being organized). Physicians are also participating: 1. in PHOs, 2. as employees of hospitals, 3. as employees of hospital based foundations, both for profit and not for profit, 4. as employees of HMOs/MCOs., and 5. as independent contractors to both for profits and not non-profits