Louisiana moves to restrict physician noncompetes 

The Louisiana state legislature approved a bill restricting noncompete clauses for physicians, nola.com reported May 15. 

Under Senate Bill 165, physician contracts can only contain noncompete clauses up to five years depending on physicians' specialties, and if physicians leave a job that has a noncompete in their contract, they would be subject to the the clause for up to two extra years and barred from practicing in as many as three parishes surrounding their employer. 

Under current law, hospitals and health systems can instate noncompetes for as long as they wish with no restriction on the number of parishes. 

The bill, which passed both the House and the Senate unanimously, is "the culmination of a years-long battle between Ochsner [Health] and its competitors," the report said. 

According to the report, Ochsner and other defenders of noncompetes say it allows hospitals to limit risk in physician investment. Supporters say that the practice forces physicians out of the state. 

The bill now heads to Gov. Jeff Landry for his signature or veto.

The move comes after the Federal Trade Commission voted to enact a total ban on noncompete agreements in April. The federal rule would potentially not affect Ochsner, since it doesn't apply for not-for-profit employers.

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