So, if we asked you where your payer contracts are, you could tell us, right? And you’d know when you last reviewed them — and when the next renewal period comes up?
Or, are they … at home, in a closet, where they’ve been (untouched) for several years? Are they … ‘somewhere around here’?
Well, we’re not surprised. Many of our clients have tucked their payer contracts in a drawer, only to forget about them. So, don’t feel TOO bad about this — but, feel just bad ENOUGH to resolve to change your habits now!
Reviewing your payer contracts annually — before they end/automatically renew — is more important than you think. Many contracts have evergreen provisions that can make extension of your current rates mandatory — even if you would have been eligible for an increase. We’ve worked with practices that have foregone years of increases because they didn’t realize their rates would remain unchanged if they failed to contact the payer at renewal time. (Even when rate increases seem negligible, several years worth of them add up to significant foregone profit.)
There also may be provisions in your contracts that you’ve forgotten about that can lead you to inadvertently fall out of compliance — which can lead to unexpected reimbursement problems down the road.
Bottom line: set a tickler to review each of your contracts a month or so before they renew. (And, if you can, try to reset your contracts so that they all renew around the same time — so that you can do your review in one fell swoop.)
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