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Build a defensible fee schedule to challenge lowball payer contracts

Your fee schedule, or chargemaster, is your most important financial tool, yet the crisis management atmosphere that pervades many physician practices often relegates fee schedule analysis to the back burner. But when you approach payers with an internal fee schedule that bases charges for care on the value of the service provided, the competitive nature of the marketplace, and a standard cost-plus-markup business model, you can improve low-paying, fixed-fee contracts, says Frank D. Cohen, MPA, senior analyst at MIT Solutions, Inc., in Clearwater, FL, and a speaker at the 2008 Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) Annual Conference in San Diego in October.

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