9 Key Strategies for Successful Physician Contract Negotiations

Preparing for a physician contract negotiation can present many challenges. Maintaining best practices and having clear strategies for every negotiation can help smooth out organizational processes and ensure the eventual contract remains compliant. Use these 9 key tips from MD Ranger for your next physician contract negotiations:

  1. Review All Prior and Existing Agreements: Review the contract in question, as well as all prior contracts with the physician and/or group, including key terms and the scope of services. If the negotiation is for a new arrangement, familiarize yourself with what has already been offered to the provider and the proposed scope of services.
  2. Check if Additional Contracts Exist: Investigate whether additional contracts with the provider exist, because multiple contracts with the same physician or group can sometimes lead to overpayments associated with “stacking” arrangements. Keep careful documentation of total payments to a single physician or group.
  3. Establish Goals and Objectives: Determine the ideal outcome for your organization and know where you can and can’t compromise in the negotiation. Strategize ahead of time to anticipate and understand the provider’s goals for the negotiation.
  4. Have a Draft Job Description Prepared: Defining the scope of the job and reviewing it internally will help to set expectations and to anticipate questions from the provider.
  5. Research the Market: Doing due diligence and researching your market is critical for establishing commercial reasonableness, staying within FMV ranges, and understanding factors that could affect payments like trauma status or heavier call burden.
  6. Consider Alternatives: Make sure to anticipate and plan for pushback from the provider on any sticking points in the negotiation.
  7. Review Contracting and Compliance Guidelines: Consider reviewing your organization’s contracting and compliance guidelines. If your organization doesn’t have guidelines in place, put their creation on your compliance to-do list. Guidelines help create objectives standards and can limit feelings of favoritism.
  8. Document Compliance: Certifying that physician agreements are FMV is the cornerstone of effective physician contracting programs; it is likewise important in negotiations. Taking the time to document compliance demonstrates your organization takes compliance seriously.
  9. Gather All Documentation Together: Keeping all documentation together helps to reduce confusion and mistakes in the negotiation process.

To learn more about preparing for your next physician contract negotiation, watch our video on how to implement these strategies.

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