New West Physicians is one of the largest primary care groups in Denver with 15 clinics and over 50 providers. Following a competitive consultant selection process, The EHR Group was hired to assist New West select the best EHR vendor for their particular needs, as well as conduct aggressive price and contract negotiations with the chosen vendor. At the end of the project it was also determined that it would be more efficient and cost effective to have the EHR application hosted at a third party data center and the EHR group was asked to help analyze and select the data center as well as conduct the price and contract negotiations for their hosting agreements.
Is This Really the Best Vendor or An Illusion?
Michael Uretz conducted a number of meetings with the New West selection committee to drill down to the necessary features and functionality needed by the group. In addition, having a strong technical background, Michael worked closely with the New West IT manager to develop requirements and insure that candidate vendors met the criteria for the underlying software technologies they were built on. This technical analysis of the vendors is an important step usually missed in the selection process.
After both functional and technical requirements were pinned down, Michael developed a detailed Request for Proposal (RFP) to submit to the vendors. In addition, he conducted an exhaustive due diligence from a business standpoint on the companies themselves.
Based on RFP responses, a short list of vendors was invited to conduct demonstrations of the product. Michael, in conjunction with both clinical and administrative members of the selection committee developed a scenario and feature based script for the vendors to follow to insure that demonstrations were concise, time efficient , and met New West’s needs.
I See the Price – But What’s My Price?
Having knowledge and experience with various pricing models and details in the industry, Michael conducted aggressive price negotiations with the preferred vendor. He made sure that pricing proposals covered all components and there were no “surprise” costs after the fact. The goal was to develop a win-win scenario in which the vendor was able to discount costs considerably and New West was able to obtain the best deal.
After a number of price negotiation rounds back and forth, New West felt that Michael had obtained best pricing as well as agreeable terms and was prepared to move ahead with the structuring of final contracts and agreements.
What If Things Go Wrong?
Structuring solid and protective contracts and agreements for New West was critical to the future success of the e EHR project. Too many times this most important step is either overlooked or the vendor’s standard contract is signed without additions and changes. Michael conducted an inventory of all promises and commitments that were given to New West from the vendor and assured that these were reflected legally in the agreement. Through meetings with New West management Michael determined what was needed in terms of contractual commitments supporting future growth. Additional future cost savings were negotiated into the agreement as well as various guarantees. Ongoing support guarantees and triage mechanisms for issue resolution applied so New West wouldn’t need to worry about being the “Squeaky Wheel” in order to get taken care of. There were pages upon pages of the standard vendor contract that needed to be modified or added to. Finally, Michael worked closely with the vendor implementation manager in order to structure a separate implementation agreement that held the vendor accountable for project success.