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Employee/Contractor v Tenant Doctor/Provider (TM) Self-Assessment Checklist

We hope you have enjoyed reading our background article Don't Use the "C" Contractor Word.
If you do not like reading you can view our Payroll and Income Tax Traps and Pitfalls for Medical and Healthcare practices: A Practical Deep Dive webinar
Now get ready to take the test to see whether you are compliant. This self-assessment tool should take 15 to 20 minutes to complete. They are easy questions for you to answer. In the end, you will automatically be given a compliance rating. Furthermore, an automatic summary of key issues will be generated. You may wish to use this to start a conversation with your management team, Board or external accountant or lawyer. 
If you still need assistance feel free to send your confidential report to us for a no-obligation chat at or email us at
Copyright and Disclaimer:
This publication is copyright. Apart from any use permitted by the Copyright Act, no part of this publication may be reproduced in any form or by any process without prior written permission. Address all inquiries to Health & Life. 
This is for general information purposes. Do not rely or act on any information without contacting a qualified and experienced lawyer and or accountant. We will not be held liable for any harm or loss suffered. 
By using this checklist, you agree to the full terms and conditions of use: 
For more information, visit our website at
Checklist Structure
This checklist is set out in the following 10 main sections:
- Business Model
- Legal Practice Agreements
Employment and Contractor Agreements
- Service Agreements
- Practice or Associate Ownership Agreements
- Billings Arrangements
- Banking Arrangements
- Bookkeeping, Accounting and Tax Reporting
- Public Relations
- Qualified and Experienced Professional Advisers sign off
This self-assessment checklist tool will automatically give you a score out of 80. For an accurate reading, we advise you not to cheat. 
If you are operating your Practice correctly, this self-assessment checklist should only take 15 minutes to complete. You will be provided with an instant summary report that highlights areas that may need improvement. You can take this report to your next Practice meeting. It will provide a useful summary of items to discuss with your advisors.
If you are not sure how to answer a question, feel free to visit our blog for further information
If you find this checklist is taking longer, no need to worry. It will help you to identify any loose ends that you need to internally address or take up with a qualified and experienced accountant and lawyer.
If you cannot find one, we are happy to provide a confidential, free, no-obligation consult. 
How to Avoid an Audit and/or a Serious Commercial Dispute?
Complete this self-assessment checklist to see if you should be concerned with your current arrangements.
If you answer YES to all the questions below, you are more likely to avoid an expensive audit or commercial dispute.
Once you submit your responses, you will be able to view your score. There are 80 questions worth a maximum of 80 points. 
- 'Yes' is worth 1 point
- 'No' and 'I don't know' are worth 0 points
Score Risk Rating:
1 - 49 High Risk. You have a lot of work to do. Seek professional advice immediately.
50 - 59 Medium Risk. You have a lot of work to do. Seek professional advice immediately.
60 - 80 Low Risk. You may need some fine tuning. Seek professional advice to be sure.
At no obligation, please contact Health and Life if you would like to confidentially discuss your results. 
This is a comprehensive Medical and Healthcare DIY Checklist to be used in conjunction with your professional legal and accounting advisers. If you would like an automatic indicative assessment, complete this online self-assessment checklist. This will assist you in what to do next.
Practice Tip
It is important to ask the right questions and not just get the right piecemeal answers from your advisers. Just because your accountant or lawyer does not say anything, does not mean you are ok. It is not their responsibility, ultimately it is yours.
Avoid Employee and Contractor Disputes (where possible)
For medico-legal and taxation purposes there is a trend to deem employment and contractor arrangements which exposes the entire practice to significant commercial and tax liabilities and penalties. Employees and contractors can demand unpaid annual, sick and long service leave entitlements, overtime, penalty rates, superannuation, and can make unfair dismissal claims.
Most importantly, practices can end up being sued for medical or clinical malpractice because of the wrong arrangement and have no professional indemnity insurance coverage. The right arrangements can be used as a critical defence if allegations are being made by the Department of Health for practices accused of charging excessive pathology or radiology rents to labs.
The Westfield Model is the Ideal Solution (Tenant Doctor/Provider Model)
Ideally for medical and healthcare Practices, maintaining a Westfield business model akin to a landlord-tenant arrangement is the optimum arrangement to be in. To use a simple analogy, a customer would sue Coles and not Westfield if they trip over a banana peel in a Coles store located at a Westfield Shopping Centre. Replicating this arrangement is critical.
As a former external auditor of similar shopping centres who charged a base fee plus a percentage of gross fees as per their lease agreement, this is a common practice in healthcare. However, it is rarely understood by providers and professional advisers on how it works in practice.
For the Tenant Doctor model see the ATO website about service fee arrangements
Increasing Government Audit Activity
Since 1992, at Health and Life, we have seen many Government audits and commercial disputes. An overriding feature determining any significant medico-legal claim is the fundamental relationship between the practice and the treating fee-for-service providers.
Are You Likely to Get Audited and When?
We have compiled common questions that commercial litigators, the ATO, Fair Work, Medicare (including Pathology Red Book investigators), WorkCover, and State Payroll Tax investigators ask.
Many audit issues start by a complaint to a third party, e.g. competitors, suppliers or disgruntled staff/owners. Examples include incorrect pay calculations that are not open and transparent, Government lobbying such as excess pathology rental investigations, or Fair Work underpayment of wages audit blitz and new ATO data matching across State and Federal Departments such as Single Touch Payroll systems introduced on 1st July 2019.

Click 'Next' to Proceed to the Questions.

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