I remember watching my mother make bread – she always allowed time for the dough to rise before putting it into the oven; it’s a question of timing.
There’s a significant amount of timing involved in respect of the negotiation of agreements between physician groups and hospitals, especially in connection with exclusive contracts.
If the contract is to come “out of the oven” in 18 months, it’s time to start the levening . . . the negotiations . . . now.
The reason so many groups get only the crumbs, or worse, get sliced out of the picture, is that they confuse the final bargaining process — what I call the “face to face” stage in which the parties trade contract drafts and hammer out a deal, or not — with true negotiation, which in connection with a Relationship Contract™ involves the development of strategy and the deployment of tactics over a course of many months prior to the first “face to face” contact.
If you have to ask when it’s the right time to begin the contract negotiating process, the answer is “yesterday.”