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Young Ophthalmologists
9 Tips for Avoiding Contracts, Mergers or Acquisition Hypertension
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Editor's note: This year, YO Info launched a new series of practice management articles. Each month we'll give you some practical tips on a specific topic, followed by relevant Academy resources and member benefits to help you tackle this area of practice management.

Many aspects of running a practice are stressful. If you’re a new physician trying to negotiate your first job, the stress can began with the contract. To help you avoid business-contract “hypertension,” here are six tips for navigating stressors associated with contract negotiation, plus three more for mergers and acquisitions -- nine in all.

How to avoid contract-negotiation hypertension
Job decisions are never easy to make, but sometimes the variable terms of employment can make it even harder to decide. Attorney Rob Wade shares these tips for negotiating your contract:

  1. Articulate your goals.
  2. Size up your negotiating partner.
  3. Identify and eliminate what both parties agree to.
  4. Know what kind of negotiation it is: win/lose, win/win … and what your partner thinks it is.
  5. Know your “bottom line.”
  6. Use advisors wisely — and get it done.

Read Wade’s detailed advice:

Contract-negotiation and job-search advice from YO Info:

How to find or change a job:

Academy and AAOE resources:

How to avoid mergers or acquisitions hypertension
Combining two practices is a challenging and time-consuming job that involves much more than moving facilities and adding staff. After all, there are humans involved!

  1. Prior to any merger, acquisition, integration or sale, determine both parties’ practice and business philosophies to ensure compatibility.
  2. Don’t rush the process! Give people time to accept change.
  3. Seek advisors for legal matters and accounting changes and consider seeking a consultant’s advice when necessary.

Buy-in and partnership advice from YO Info:

AAOE webinar (free for members): Strategic Planning for the Ophthalmic Practice

Next month: look for our tips on avoiding Medicare fraud and abuse. Previously in the series:

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About the authors: This article was adapted from the original piece, which appeared in a publication of the American Academy of Ophthalmic Executives. Debra Phairas is president of Practice and Liability Consultants, a nationally recognized firm specializing in practice management and malpractice prevention. Her background includes medical clinic administration and loss prevention management for NORCAL Mutual, a physician malpractice insurance carrier in northern California. She has also presented seminars and lectures nationwide for state and local medical/dental associations, management organizations and specialty societies. Christi A. Foist is the managing editor for YO Info and the Web and member communications editor for the Academy’s website.

Academy members: login to read or make comments on this article.