On June 6, 2016, the New Hampshire legislature amended RSA 329 by inserting RSA 329:31-a which voids doctors’ non-competes restricting their practice in any geographical area for a period of time after the termination of their partnership, employment, or professional relationship. It does not void any other provision of the contract. This law applies to both new contracts and renewals of contracts entered into on or after August 5, 2016. The practical effect of this law is that for any contract entered into or renewed on or after August 5, 2016, the non-compete portion prohibiting working in a certain geographical areas is void, yet a non-solicitation of patient provision could still be in effect. Therefore if the doctor has a restriction in a contract first entered into or renewed on or after August 5, 2016 that states she cannot accept prior patients she previously cared for in her prior medical practice for year after leaving the prior practice and also states that she will not practice medicine within 30 miles of the prior practice, while the 30 mile geographical restriction would be unenforceable, the provision prohibiting her from accepting business from patients of the former practice could still be enforceable. The law only applies to physicians licensed by the board to practice in the state and would not apply to nurse practitioners, physician assistants, or other healthcare workers.
J. Daniel Marr is a Director and Shareholder at Hamblett & Kerrigan, P.A. His legal practice includes counseling businesses and individuals on a variety of legal issues and advocating on their behalf. Attorney Marr is licensed and practices in both New Hampshire and Massachusetts. Attorney Marr can be reached at [email protected].