MGMA 2009: The joys of hospital/physician dealmaking

In just about any deal your practice makes with hospitals, health systems or other practices, there's countless ways for things to go wrong--but forewarned is forearmed, right? This year's MGMA event is replete with sessions that should help you feel more confident in your dealings with hospitals, and hopefully, boost your profits, too.

If you're just a beginner when it comes to brokering deals, a good session choice might be "Integrated Delivery Systems 101" (CON 415, Oct. 12, 10:30 a.m. - 11:15 a.m., room 203). This session, hosted by MGMA principal consultant Nick Fabrizio and healthcare consultant Bruce Johnson with Faegre & Benson LLP, lays out the basic facts you need to know if you're considering a deal with a hospital, medical group or another entity.

On the other hand, if you're not a beginner, there's other things to learn. Worried about making a regulatory slip when structuring your next hospital deal? Consider attending "Maximizing Compensation from Hospitals While Still Being Legal" (CON 305, Oct. 12, 8:00 a.m. - 9:15 a.m., room 708/712), which offers an overview of various ways physicians typically get paid, describes how fair market value for services gets calculated, and best of all, offers hints on when it's legit to ask for more pay. (You'll still need your lawyer when dealmaking, but you may understand what they're telling you far better.)

I'm also curious to hear what Casey Sturkie, AVP of physician support services for Lexington Medical Center, has to say in his session, "What to Expect When You Negotiate with a Hospital System" (CON 601, Oct. 12, 3:15 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., room 601). Speaking in partnership with David Cook, chief administrative office of Waukesha Elmbrook Health Care, Sturkie promises to tell you what's likely to happen if your group is approached by a hospital system, how to prepare, and what the hospital system cares about the most. Nice insider info, if you can get it--and it seems that in this session, you can.