Health insurers beat down physicians in contract negotiations with fuzzy numbers, run-arounds, and other ruses associated with used-car lots, practice consultant Ron Howrigon told attendees here at the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) 2015 Annual Conference.
Howrigon should know. For 18 years, he worked in the managed care industry, running provider networks and negotiating contracts with medical practices. Now he coaches those same practices on ways to face off with his former employers at the bargaining table.
"When I worked on the payer side, we used to joke all the time that negotiating with physicians was like negotiating with somebody who brings a knife to a gunfight," said Howrigon, president and chief executive officer of Fulcrum Strategies in Raleigh, North Carolina. "You don't win many of those, so be prepared."