If the Situation with a Physician is Complex, Document It
Preparing for a physician contract negotiation? As you've likely discovered, these conversations take time and effort, and often go differently than anticipated. Discussing compensation, no matter how positive the business relationship may be, can present challenges.
Whether you are a hospital administrator negotiating with a key multi-specialty group, or an independent physician asking for increased call coverage pay, care preparation can help you achieve your desired outcomes.
If the situation is complex, acknowledge it. Situational details (such as intensity of workload, payer mix, trauma status, etc.) may distinguish a contract from most other contracts within the same service. If that's the case and if these factors haven't been considered in the payment rate, you might be under or over paying. Agreements like these carry compliance risks—particularly if the service has a comparatively lower workload than the average contract in the market, or if your contract results in significantly more professional revenue. Not even the very best market data survey can cover all situations. Also, if it is an exclusive contract, such as for a hospital-based service, there are special considerations for the value of the franchise. Experience and judgment are important to assessing risk and knowing when to bring in an internal or external consultant to document compliance.