‘Tis the Deal Making Season. Perspective Matters.

By William O’Toole, Founder, O’Toole Law Group
Twitter: @OTooleLawHIT

For the supermajority of Health IT companies and healthcare providers alike calendar year-end is fiscal year-end. Companies strive to book as much business as possible; incentives exist. Savvy providers project implementation starts, staff requirements, and budget impacts. Implementation schedules for the best vendors are tenuous until contract execution; first to sign is first in line.

Major investment perception depends on the parties involved; dollar value is relative to the party mix. Small dollar deals for some vendors are monumental to small providers, yet they add up for the vendor, each contributing to a big year. Mega providers investing in niche systems for a subset of the mega operation may sense no urgency yet small investment for the mega provider can be mega booking for the Health IT vendor and really make their year. Failure to recognize and capitalize is a mistake and could result in lost benefit for your organization.

Critical or sacred contract issues exist on both sides; that’s why I do what I do. The dynamics are interesting and the variations are boggling. Extreme importance to the small provider may not even register with the mega vendor. Ho hum they’ve heard it before. Sign here. Conversely, small vendors tend to bend. Ho hum dollars to the mega provider make astounding impact on small vendor bottom lines.

The best deals are devoid of begrudging signature(s). Avoid this situation as it is seldom forgotten. When the constitution of the deal from all perspectives is clearly understood, the deal gets done fairly so each party eagerly grabs the pen. Precision after perception, coupled with fairness, result in the best outcome.

With weeks to go and contracts on tables recognition of major contract issues is paramount. Identify now and work on the biggies throughout the time remaining, not at the end. For example, project plans can take weeks to develop; critical and not to be backburnered they can however be tackled as background jobs while major contract issues are properly addressed. Plug it in at the end.

Dancing around the big stuff leads to pressured negotiation in short time span. While the deal might get done before the ball drops on New Year’s Eve, it may also spill to first quarter. Great solutions can be missed in the pandemonium of late December; a party may sign begrudgingly rather than excitedly, which is unfortunate. The crunch is on. Perceptive diligence pays off for all involved.