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Organize your contracts to improve negotiating clout

Payers are achieving claims savings today by digging into the pockets of providers and consumers. Providers have accepted pay cuts during contract negotiations, and members have been stuck with rising copays and deductibles. Although providers have little sway over the benefits in employer-sponsored health plans, they can at least halt the erosion of practice revenue and physician income by assembling a matrix of their contracts, assessing their current payments, and forcing payers to the table with good data, according to Penny Noyes, president of Health Business Navigators, a consulting and provider contracting firm based in Bowling Green, KY. Noyes presented negotiating and contracting strategies at the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) 2007 Annual Conference in Philadelphia in October.

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