Billable Hours - How Should I Seek DPC Legal Advice?

I am often asked by frustrated physicians how much money they should have to pay for legal counsel related to starting and maintaining their DPC practice.  Here are some of my general thoughts:

1) Use Free Resources - those that attended the DPC Summit received a (free) packet from me with lots of great information - everything from a sample DPC Patient Agreement to detailed discussions of Medicare, Medicaid, HIPAA, Tax Issues, marketing ideas (from Jewels Duncan), large employer ideas (from John Collier).  I am seeking publication of some of those materials, and other items included in the packet had already been published - so I cannot reproduce the packet entirely in online form at this time.  

2) Never Pay for an Attorney's Education - if your attorney knows very little about DPC (or appears to be pretending to know about it based on your conversations) then you need to make it clear that you will take your services elsewhere if you are going to be charged for the attorney to learn about a new subject matter.  The hours a DPC-rookie attorney spends reading this site and other resources should not be billed to you.

3) Educate Yourself and Give it a Shot - start with #1, and then get state specific.  In many states I have a link to the state insurance code and have highlighted many other roadblocks that might be in place.  Click on your state, and if you think information is missing please contact me.  The links above have example forms for HIPAA, opting out (your status can be verified online with the carrier - consider this example with Noridian, WPS, and Novitas), etc.

4) Forums - Allow others to learn from your experience, comment on this post or in the forums if you have found a local attorney that is knowledgeable and reasonably priced.  

If the attorney you contact is familiar with DPC, and if you have already drafted your own version of the contract (ideally after looking over any state insurance code issues or state DPC law - highlighted on our states pages) then I would estimate that the entire DPC patient contract review should take five hours or less of the attorney's time, and the price you are quoted should reflect this expectation.  The more (accurate) work you do up front using the resources on this site, the less work your attorney has to do, and thus you should face fewer billable hours.

For those that are curious, I do not offer official one on one legal advise.  Instead I provide the free resources on this website due to 1) my own time limitations, and 2) "unauthorized practice of law" requirements in place the majority of states (I am a member of the bar in KY (full) and SC (limited)), and 3) because I mean what I say in the mission statement - my goal really is to lower barriers to entry to grow the DPC movement.