Digital

Digital Health Implementation Playbook Step 6: Contracting

Overview

Lay the groundwork for a successful long-term vendor relationship. Think beyond financial considerations to align on expectations for how you’ll work together and communicate. Discuss the level of support or training you’ll expect from them as your partner and think creatively about where they can provide additional value or share the risk with your organization. Ensure your negotiations are clearly captured in key legal documents that protect both you and your new partner.

Goals to accomplish

  • Secure any remaining approvals within your organization to proceed with contracting
  • Negotiate terms (financial investment, customer support, additional services, upgrade schedule, success metrics, etc.)
  • Document clear and measurable definitions of success for your working relationship and the initiative at large
  • Identify the timeline for the current contract and outline when terms will be renegotiated
  • Clearly outline the plan to scale your program, and align on any relevant contingency plans
  • Work with your legal, financial, procurement, or IT teams as necessary to get the contract signed

Why contracting is important

A strong contract underpins a successful long-term relationship by providing:

  • Aligned expectations
  • Written, agreed upon terms to hold each party accountable
  • Legal protection for you and your vendor

Best practice

Think about your contract as a “Path to Commitment.” If your original contract only covers an initial rollout of your solution, spend time talking with your vendor about what that larger contract will look like when you are ready to expand. Your scaling plan should consider each partner's financial investments, timing considerations and success metrics. Clear expectations upfront will help build a healthy, long-term partnership.

Avoiding a misstep

Plan ahead to avoid future delays. Make sure you discuss how your organization intends to scale. Ensure your partner has the inventory and resources to keep up with your organization's size and expected scaling speed. While there are many benefits to working with a startup, this is a particularly important area to align on upfront.

Small practice callout

Explore external resources. If you don’t have an internal legal and/or compliance team, you may want to invest in obtaining input from a compliance or legal expert.

Quick tip

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Practice spotlight

Many health care organizations struggle to adapt their contracting policies to meet the evolving work of digital health. Consider Omada, a digital health developer of solutions aimed to prevent chronic disease, who is often presented with contracts that are subject to the same terms used for an $100MM EHR vendor. According to Carolyn Jasik, VP of Medical Affairs, “It’s like swatting a fly with a sledgehammer”. These rigid contracts can create months of red tape, delaying digital health adoption. As an alternative, Omada partners with healthcare organizations to “right-size” contracts by removing unnecessary traditional contracting language and adding in clauses that are specific to Omada’s offering. By working together, they are able to bring technology into clinical practice faster and more successfully.

— Carolyn Jasik, MD, VP of Medical Affairs, Omada Health

Resources

DOWNLOADS

Playbook: Step 6-Financial Legal Documents

Now that you have completed Step 6 in the AMA Digital Health Implementation Playbook, continue with Step 7: Designing the Workflow. You can also go back to Step 5: Making the Case, or visit the playbook main page to review all 12 steps.

AMA Digital Health Implementation Playbook

Download the Playbook to review all 12 steps to implement and scale remote patient monitoring in practice.