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Use hard facts to bolster your negotiating position

Successful negotiations often hinge upon the ability of both parties to agree on the value of a provider to the payer, and vice versa. Doing your homework and having the right information and quantitative data on hand is key to proving your position to the payer. "If you don't have any data, rest assured that the payer will," says Gary M. May, vice president of managed care and pricing at Stanford (CA) Hospitals and Clinics and Lucille Packard Children's Hospital. "And if you're unable to refute their data with something fact-based, then you may find yourself in a weak negotiating position."