When’s the right time to begin negotiating the next renewal of your exclusive contract?
When I asked this question at a national conference of medical group leaders, the majority response was from three to four months prior to the end of the current contact term; a few outliers said 6 months and one, out of an audience of several hundred, yelled one year.
Not bad, they were all wrong.
The time to begin negotiating your next contract is as soon as the ink is dry on your current contract. Sign on November 28, 2011 for a 3 year term; begin negotiating November 28th for the renewal in 2014.
No, I don’t mean to set up a meeting with the hospital’s CEO to discuss the next agreement.
What I mean is that all of your group’s interactions with the hospital, from now to signing the renewal in 2014 are a part of the negotiation process, whether you choose to admit it or not.
Under those circumstances, you might as well harness the fact for your group’s benefit.