Preparing for Physician Contract Negotiations
Negotiations with hospital administrators can be difficult. Whether it’s because you don’t like confrontations, or you are dealing with a tough executive, there are steps you can take to prepare yourself for the conversation.
Anticipate, and prepare for, hospital push-back. What are reasonable alternatives to what you’re requesting? If the market data reveals that rates within your service and specialty are relatively close to one another, you don’t have a lot of negotiating room. On the other hand, if the difference between the 50th and 75th percentiles isn’t that much monetarily, it could be much easier for you to secure the higher rate given the smaller risk taken on by the hospital. Spend a few hours playing devil’s advocate, and coming up with all questions and pushback that you would give yourself, if you were the hospital administrator. Here are questions you should know the answers to before walking into the negotiation:
- I haven’t been paying you to provide this service. Why should I pay you now?
- Paying you at the 50th percentile seems unrealistic given your experience and our payer mix. Why do you think you deserve it?
- Aren’t you collecting enough during your coverage days to make this worthwhile?
- How is this rate you’re asking for fair market value? Who says?