Collective Strength in Physician Contract Negotiations: Why Groups Succeed Where Individuals Struggle

Negotiating as a group of 4 physicians or 20+ amplifies your voice and significantly increases your negotiation power. Learn how our strategic approach to group negotiations helps secure better pay and working conditions, ensuring every physician in your group is valued and fairly compensated.

Are You Facing These Common Negotiation Challenges?

Navigating group contracts can be daunting and time-consuming. Getting all of your colleagues on the same page to work with the administration is challenging. Many physicians find themselves grappling with complex issues that can undermine their professional satisfaction and financial well-being, or worse; many just ignore the compensation issue altogether. Here’s how these challenges might be affecting your group:

Problems

Outdated Contract Models

Is your group working under an agreement that hasn’t been updated in years, potentially leaving you behind current market standards?

Inequitable Compensation

Do you feel your group’s compensation isn’t commensurate with the workload or market trends, especially given your high performance and productivity levels?

Staffing and Resource Allocation

Are discrepancies in staffing and resource allocation causing burnout or dissatisfaction within your group?

Negotiation Isolation

Does the administration try to isolate or fragment your group, perhaps offering different terms to different members, undermining bargaining efforts?

Lengthy and Inflexible Negotiation Cycles

Are you stuck in prolonged negotiation cycles with inflexible timelines that don’t reflect your group’s needs or the pace of change in healthcare?

Solutions

Outdated Contract Models

We employ the latest market data and regional standards, utilizing tools better than employers to ensure your contracts are current and competitive. Our approach is rooted in open and honest communication, transparency, and efficiency. We avoid secret formulas to openly define what ‘fair market’ means for your group. Unlike hospitals that often withhold their FMV analysis, we provide factual, unbiased data to determine your group’s market value.

Inequitable Compensation

Our custom approach aligns your group’s compensation with your level of performance, ensuring fair compensation based on real-time industry benchmarks. We also look at the story behind the situation — there are often situations where the story matters as much as the numbers.

Staffing and Resource Allocation

We advocate for equitable resource distribution and staffing solutions that reflect your group’s actual needs and workload.

Negotiation Isolation

Our team includes former hospital administrators, so we understand the insider tactics used to fragment a group because we’ve been on the other side of the table. This unique perspective allows us to effectively counter divide-and-conquer strategies, ensuring fair and cohesive bargaining for your group.

Lengthy and Inflexible Negotiation Cycles

We streamline the negotiation process, setting strategic timelines to ensure timely and effective contract renewals. With our expertise, negotiations typically take 2 to 6 months, compared to up to 18 months or more without our assistance.

How It Works: Streamlined Process for Effective Group Negotiations

Understanding our process is as simple as 1-2-3. We’ve honed our approach to ensure every step is clear, transparent, and designed to bring you the best possible outcomes for your group negotiations.

Process Steps

Discovery Call

Start with a complimentary 30-minute discovery call, during which we learn about your group’s specific needs, challenges, and goals. This information helps us tailor our approach to your unique situation.

Contract and Market Analysis

Our team thoroughly analyzes your current contracts alongside a custom detailed assessment. We use advanced tools and resources previously available to hospitals, ensuring the highest industry knowledge and technology level. No other firm provides this level of expertise. We identify key areas for improvement, from compensation to workload balance, ensuring everything aligns with industry standards and your group’s expectations.

Strategy Development

Our process begins with a comprehensive analysis of your group’s needs, desires, and the broader market context. We then develop a strategic plan tailored to your group, incorporating detailed compensation calculations and fair market value (FMV) analysis. Working closely with you, we ensure that the strategy meets your expectations and positions you advantageously within the current market. We transform these objectives into actionable strategies, steering the negotiation to secure the best possible outcomes.

Negotiation, Finalizing, and Review

With the strategic plan in place, we represent your group in negotiations with the hospital or employer. We handle all communications, advocating effectively for your interests to secure improved contract terms that reflect your group’s value and contributions. Once an agreement is reached, we review the proposed changes with your group, ensuring satisfaction and understanding. We assist with finalizing the contract and ensuring all new terms are correctly incorporated by the employer.

Ongoing Support and Follow-Up

After the contract is signed, we remain available to answer further questions and provide support. We ensure you’re fully confident with the new terms and help plan for future renegotiations to keep your contracts up-to-date.

Every step of our process is crafted with the utmost care and personalized to each group, leveraging our extensive expertise in healthcare negotiations. We ensure your group not only achieves but exceeds its negotiation goals. Let’s take the first step together.

Meet The Team

Jon Appino, MBA – Founder, Contract Diagnostics

Jon Appino is the Principal and Founder of Contract Diagnostics and has been passionate about helping individual physicians for over 13 years. As his experience grew, he realized the value of physicians speaking in a unified voice when discussing contracts and compensation with employers. As consolidation in the healthcare space continues, physicians having transparent, open, and honest conversations with their employees has never been more important. He has created and staffed the Group Division with leading industry experts, bringing decades of experience to the negotiating table for physicians and physician groups nationwide.  Along with Anu and Jennifer, Jon can change the dialogue between Physician Groups and their employers. Jon is passionate about this work, which shows in everything he does.

Anu Murthy, JD Esq.

Anu Murthy is a distinguished healthcare and intellectual property attorney and practice consultant specializing in group engagements for physicians, dentists, and advanced care practitioners. A proud alumna of the Boston University School of Law, Anu is a staunch advocate for the collective power of thorough contract explanation, negotiation, and drafting in safeguarding the success and protection of healthcare groups. With a rich history of leadership roles across various healthcare ecosystems—including academic institutions, not-for-profit organizations, and private equity sectors—Anu has spearheaded initiatives in recruitment, service line expansion, and practice acquisitions tailored for group practices.

In 2020, Anu redirected her focus towards leveraging her deep-seated expertise to benefit healthcare groups, assisting them in navigating the complex business aspects of their professional endeavors. Her extensive background affords her clients a distinctive advantage in reviewing healthcare transactions, while her comprehensive industry network provides critical insights into group-specific market trends. Anu’s unique insider perspective, combined with her unwavering commitment to the collective interests of her clients, distinguishes her in her field, making her an invaluable ally to physician groups seeking to maximize their contractual outcomes.

​​Her experience and knowledge facilitate a nuanced review of healthcare transactions, guaranteeing a competitive advantage for her clients. A diverse national network of contacts throughout the healthcare industry gives her the inside track on market trends and how to capitalize on them. She was on the ‘other side’ for decades and is now on yours.


Jennifer Thomson, Esq.

As an attorney with Dinsmore & Shohl, LLP and part of their healthcare and public policy team, Jennifer is available to clients who would benefit from her combined healthcare legal and financial focus.  With an impressive blend of legal expertise, accounting acumen, and a profound understanding of healthcare consulting, Jennifer specializes in leading group negotiation divisions tailored for healthcare professionals, particularly focusing on physician and provider groups. Her career has been marked by a dedication to ensuring strategic alignment through thoughtful physician and provider compensation models bolstered by robust management skills, strategic and analytical thinking, problem-solving capabilities, and exceptional communication and presentation skills. Jennifer aims to drive best practices within healthcare organizations, fostering an environment that supports professional growth and positively contributes to organizational success.

With an extensive background, including over three decades of dedicated service at a major, well-known hospital system, she played a pivotal role in the strategic expansion of their physician network. With prior executive leadership responsibilities for physician compensation and contract management at that organization, Jennifer spearheaded the designing, implementing, and managing of physician compensation frameworks, supporting the system’s growth to over 1,500 employed providers through meticulous contract negotiations and transaction support for key acquisitions.

Throughout Jennifer’s tenure, she honed skills beneficial to physician group negotiations, including contract management, healthcare consulting, cross-team collaboration, and strategy alignment. Her analytical ability, CPA certification, and legal and financial expertise enable her to offer comprehensive solutions to complex challenges in the physician alignment and compensation world.  Jennifer was on the hospital side of thousands of physician and group negotiations in the past, and now she brings her expertise to YOUR side. Dinsmore & Shohl, LLP is a national law firm independent of Contract Diagnostics and does not have a partnership or referral arrangement with Contract Diagnostics. 

She is passionate about this work, and it shows.


FAQs: Addressing Your Concerns

Do you have questions? We’ve got answers. Here are some of the most common queries we receive about our group negotiation services. Would you prefer to speak with us instead? Schedule a complimentary 30-minute inquiry call with us here.

What makes Contract Diagnostics different from other contract negotiation services?

Unlike other services that may offer a broad range of legal assistance, Contract Diagnostics specializes solely in physician contract reviews and negotiations. This focus, combined with our team of experts, including attorneys, physicians, and former hospital executives, ensures that we bring a deep understanding and specialized expertise to every negotiation.

How do you ensure confidentiality and trust during negotiations?
Maintaining confidentiality is a cornerstone of our operations. We adhere to strict privacy policies and ensure all communications and contract details are handled with the utmost discretion and security.
Can you help with group contracts in all states?
Yes, we have experience with physician contracts across the United States. Our team is knowledgeable about state-specific regulations and market standards, allowing us to provide comprehensive support regardless of your location.
What if our employer is resistant to negotiating with a third party?
It’s not uncommon for employers to initially resist third-party negotiations. However, our team is skilled in diplomatically breaking down these barriers, demonstrating the benefits of our involvement to both sides. Our goal is to facilitate a fair negotiation process that results in beneficial outcomes for all parties.
How long does the negotiation process typically take?
The duration of the negotiation process can vary depending on several factors, including the contract’s complexity, your employer’s responsiveness, and your group’s specific needs. However, we strive to make the process as efficient as possible. Depending on complexity and needs, as well as the employer’s responsiveness, the process typically ranges from 1 to 8 months for group deals.
What happens if we cannot reach an agreement with our employer?
While we aim to achieve satisfactory outcomes in all negotiations, we will work with you to evaluate all available options if an agreement isn’t reached. We can be creative, revising negotiation strategies and preparing for additional discussions. Our fees are flat, and we are committed to ensuring completion, which means either securing a deal you are happy with or determining if it’s no longer the right fit.
Are there additional costs for multiple rounds of negotiation or extended services?
Our fee structure is transparent and agreed upon in advance. Any potential additional costs would be discussed and agreed upon before additional services are rendered, ensuring no surprises.
Will involving a third party in our negotiations damage our good relationship with the administration?
Our approach is collaborative and respectful. We aim to enhance relationships by fostering open and fair discussions. Our experience shows that administrations often appreciate the clarity and professionalism we bring to the process.

“Jon, thanks for being part of this process. We haven’t done it like this before with any group, but it was seemingly quicker and smoother than hosting all the meetings and PowerPoint presentations with the physicians. You were able to get them all on the same page and move through the process efficiently. I was unsure at first, but I’m now a proponent of what you are doing there at Contract Diagnostics.” – Nick

How can we trust an external consultant with sensitive contract details?
Confidentiality is paramount in our work. We adhere to strict confidentiality agreements, ensuring that all discussions and documents are handled with the highest security and discretion.
What if the proposed changes do not align with our needs or the hospital’s capabilities?
Our negotiation strategy is highly customized because we believe YOUR story matters. We start by thoroughly understanding your group’s and the hospital’s needs to ensure that any changes we propose are realistic, mutually beneficial, and sustainable.
Are the costs of your services justified by the outcomes?
Our services are an investment in securing fair and advantageous contract terms. Physicians groups we’ve worked with often recover the costs through better compensation, improved terms, and greater job satisfaction. For example, we’ve seen a 12% increase for pediatric hospitalists and a $150k per year per doctor increase for a group of surgeons. Typical ROI ranges from 5x to 65x or more in the first year, with continued benefits in subsequent years. Every situation is different, and your story matters. We offer a no-charge exploratory call to hear your story and see if we can help. We will provide a precise, custom quote upfront outlining the charges, process, and all you need to know.
Can you handle negotiations in specialized medical fields or with complex organizational structures?
Yes, our team has extensive experience across various medical specialties and organizational types. We tailor our approach to meet each specialty and facility’s unique challenges and opportunities.
I don’t want to upset the hospital.

Hospitals frequently bring in their advisors and consultants for essential negotiations. It makes sense for physicians with limited time and minimal negotiation experience to do the same. We’ve done this many times, and in most situations, the hospital welcomes our participation as it improves the process, speeds it up, and ensures everyone is on the same page with reasonable expectations.

“Working with Jon and his team was a professional and respectful process. Their team understood both parties’ wants and needs and was of great value in ensuring a reasonable agreement was reached.” – Nick

Is group negotiation the same as collective bargaining?

No, group negotiation is different from collective bargaining. Collective bargaining typically involves unionized representatives negotiating formal agreements with employers under specific labor laws. Our approach at Contract Diagnostics focuses on organizing doctors around common goals to present unified requests to hospital management. This collaborative effort aims to align with hospital systems seeking to standardize contracts, not to replace physicians at the negotiation table. Our involvement brings expertise that can expedite results. If hospital employers prefer us not to be directly involved, we can still offer analysis and meeting preparatory expertise, helping physicians anticipate and prepare for their meetings.

“Working with Jon and his team was a professional and respectful process. Their team understood both parties’ wants and needs and was of great value in ensuring a reasonable agreement was reached.” – Nick

They won’t listen. They will not make adjustments.
Just as in patient care, we can’t make any promises. However, you miss 100% of the opportunities you don’t seek. Transparency and communication are key; our goal is to align your needs with the hospital’s capabilities. Many clients find that our assistance leads to more timely and efficient meetings, with desired results achieved sooner. We speed up the process, analyze data and proposals in various ways, and offer creative solutions to what may seem like roadblocks.
We can’t get everyone on the same page.
We have experience in this. While many physicians have different goals, such as retirement, work volume, and family needs, we can create or modify a comprehensive compensation plan that meets the group’s needs. Although addressing individual preferences in group deals is challenging, we communicate your objectives to the employer in reasonable terms to advance the negotiation.
They tell us they can’t pay us more.
This may or may not be accurate. The only way to know is through proper analysis of the current situation, a deep dive into data and options, and transparent communication. We understand the physician-based market and can engage in discussions about Fair Market Value and Commercial Reasonableness. While we don’t want you paid outside these bounds, there are often alternatives to achieve the desired results, and we can help explore those options.
We aren’t even getting numbers or reports.

The discussion is not always about ‘more’ compensation. It could involve transparency, benefits, schedules, staffing levels, technology, etc. If you are not getting numbers and transparency, our participation in the negotiations will help bring these concerns to the forefront and address them.

We don’t have good reimbursement or payors.
This is a common concern, but you are not alone. Reimbursement rates are falling everywhere, and organizations handle this in different ways. We know how to navigate these challenges and adjust to your situation. A full market analysis is critical to how your compensation compares to others in your specialty and market. This assessment includes identifying market pressures and protecting against future downside risks. Having a team working for you to communicate and achieve your objectives is one piece of the ‘magic’ we work here.
We are just a small community hospital.
That makes you even more valuable to the community. Physicians at small community hospitals often know the administrative staff closely and are vested in their community. This ‘friendship’ can sometimes hinder fair compensation. Contract Diagnostics can facilitate necessary discussions professionally and objectively, making communicating easier within a smaller community hospital environment.
We already make a lot of money.

The discussion is not always about ‘more’ compensation. It could involve transparency, benefits, schedules, staffing levels, technology, etc. Physicians make a lot of money by most standards, but it’s not just about the amount—it’s about being paid fairly for your role in your community with your skills. Your story matters, and fair compensation versus high earnings are two very different things.

Still have questions?

Don’t hesitate to contact us directly at 888-574-5526 or [email protected]. Our team is here to provide the information and support you need to move forward confidently.

Ready to Transform Your
Group’s Contract Negotiations?

Take the first step towards securing a group negotiation and ensure your team is at a Fair Market Value that genuinely reflects the value and dedication of your physician group. Our expert team is ready to guide you through every step of the negotiation process, ensuring you achieve the best possible terms.

Join the thousands of physicians who have benefited from our specialized negotiation services. This division of Contract Diagnostics is unprecedented and will impact group compensation and dynamics nationwide. Just like when Contract Diagnostics created the national contract review space over 13 years ago, we are again pioneering a new path forward to benefit the physicians we serve. Don’t settle for less—ensure your contracts are as outstanding as your medical practice.

Can’t wait? Contact us directly at 888-574-5526 or [email protected] for immediate assistance.