There are two pop culture references to negotiation that might have colored your view of the subject. One is from “The Fifth Element” when a terrorist demands someone be sent in to negotiate. Bruce Willis steps into the room and blows away the terrorist. He looks around and asks if anyone else wants to negotiate. This could potentially put one off the idea of negotiating.
The other reference is from a “Star Wars” movie where the bad guy lays down terms to his contractors. Indignant, one complains it wasn’t the original deal. The bad guy calmly exclaims, “I am altering the deal. Pray I don’t alter it any further!” You don’t have a lightsaber and the power of the dark side behind you. So that is also a terrible model for negotiation.
Blockbuster, Hollywood movies seldom provide you with good answers for life’s toughest questions. If you want to learn to negotiate like a pro, look elsewhere for inspiration. To be sure, there are many situations in life where you are offered an unappealing deal you feel powerless to reject. The good news is that is often not the case. You can alter the deal if you know how. Here are some negotiation tips to consider:
Bring in a Pro
If you run a medical practice, one of your biggest challenges is getting insurance companies to pay you what your services are worth. Their payment schedule usually coincides with that of medicare, ensuring that medical practitioners get the least amount of money possible. This leads to greater out of pocket expenses for patients, which leads to fewer patients. It is very hard to renegotiate these payer contracts.
Your best option is to bring in a company that specializes in insurance contract negotiation. Here is the outcome of a notable case study:
By making Healthcents an extension of their team, Advanced Pain Care increased reimbursement on their priority contracts and obtained new payer contracts that allowed them to expand their service offering, access to new patients, and grow revenue. They realized a double-digit percentage increase. Advanced Pain Care has partnered with Healthcents since 2018.
Other providers were able to get into closed networks and renegotiate key agreements. Even a little movement in a medical contract can achieve a big payoff at the end of the day. It all starts by bringing in the right negotiator.
You can save a fortune on therapy bills by talking to a close friend and skipping the therapy session altogether. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for other types of medical issues. Diabetics need to see their endocrinologist. Cancer patients need to see their ontologist. People with joint problems need to see their joint-ologist. Made up words aside, you get the idea. You also get the idea that the bills stack up real fast and it is trivially easy to get behind on payments.
You don’t have to ignore the bills until your wages are garnished and you are forced to file bankruptcy. What you need to know is that most companies, including medical practices, are more than willing to either negotiate a payment arrangement or a lower paid in full amount. Even if it goes to a collection agency, they are even more willing to negotiate a favorable settlement because some money is better than no money at all. Rather than letting things spiral completely out of hand, try to negotiate. You will be surprised at how favorable the terms can be.
Believe it or not, you can boost your salary before you ever sign the dotted line. It is just a matter of knowing how to negotiate your salary. You can treat it a little like buying a car. Just like there is a magic number dealers are willing to accept, there is a magic number your employer is willing to accept. When you get a new job, you are given an official offer letter. The reason it is called an offer is because you are free to negotiate for something better. If it is a sales job, your first assignment is to improve the offer. Seldom will you lose the job by trying to negotiate for more.
Whether it be payer contracts, medical bills or your salary, realize that you can save or make a lot more money just by negotiating a better deal.
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