Key Success Factors
Primary Care Toolkit for Family Physicians
The College of Family Physicians of Canada
A governance agreement raises the issue of liability, not associated with clinical practice or malpractice, but associated with accountability for the organization and management of the family practice or primary care group being established. This is sometimes called corporate liability and is an essential part of office risk management. To this end, appropriate liability insurance is recommended to ensure coverage for exposure to the risks inherent in such issues as hiring / firing employees and leasing either office facilities or equipment.
A governance agreement establishes a legal entity, e.g. a family practice or primary care group, with defined responsibilities, obligations and accountabilities. Increasingly, it is being recommended that the legal entity be independent of and separate from the key stakeholders, e.g. practicing physicians, in order to receive and manage funds or to contract with employees but to protect the stakeholders from the liability risks associated with management of the entity. Incorporation will also be important to protect stakeholders against personal liability associated with managing the practice or group.