Physician practices and other provider groups have always been at a disadvantage when it comes to negotiating with managed care companies and payors for initial fees or fee increases. Managed care organizations and payors have access to proprietary provider claims data, patient demographics and benefit utilization data that is not generally available to providers. In addition to access to proprietary data, payors have internal teams of professionals who are trained to specialize in provider reimbursement. Physician practices and other providers must be prepared to have detailed discussions with payors regarding reimbursement and other contractual obligations. Reimbursement, while important, should not be the only area of focus of a contractual relationship negotiation with a payor. This paper provides an overview of some of the key considerations for physician practices and other provider groups as they look to navigate the complexities of contracting with payors.

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