Payer contract management in 2024: What is it and how should you use it?

Buyer’s Guides
April 12, 2024
Payer contract management is important in handling the relationship between payer organizations and healthcare providers.

Read on to discover what it is, and how contract management software can help.

But before we dive into the benefits of payer contract management software and how to choose the right solution, who is a payer, and what is payer contract management? 

Who is a ‘payer’?

A ‘payer’ refers to an entity or business that pays for services rendered by a healthcare provider. This payer could refer to a commercial insurance company, government program, employer, or patient.

Payers are usually used by practicing physicians, who may come into contact with a variety of clauses when negotiating the terms and conditions of payment for services. Physicians might also contract with third-party administrators or intermediary contracting entities, including other healthcare providers who have assumed financial risk from a payer. 

What is payer contract management?

Healthcare organizations and payer organizations all require agreements to be made over the terms and conditions for medical services, coverage, and payment. In fact, managing payer contracts is one of the primary challenges of healthcare providers.

Payer contract management is the process of managing these contracts and tracking the difference between revenue generation for each individual payer. Without effective payer contract management, healthcare providers are limited in their ability to see if they are being paid correctly. 

The goal of payer contract management is to standardize contracts and make them as consistent as possible, while maintaining beneficial terms. 

Most standard contract management best practices apply to payer contracts. However, there are a few notable differences between payer contracts and other types of business contracts, including that:

  • Many payers retain the right to change reimbursement rates at will - this means that both providers and payers must stick to strict reimbursement stipulations

  • Healthcare providers are often required to negotiate competitive terms with health plans and providers

  • Attribution is often treated as a tick-box exercise, which makes it difficult to focus on managing patients and hitting targets for full payment

This means that those working with payer contracts, usually as part of a healthcare provider contract management process, have a few extra things to consider when handling these complex contracts. Let’s explore those in more detail now. 

Payer contract management tips for 2024

1. Assess your current payer mix 

If you’re starting from scratch, it’s important to determine the current mix of payers your organization has and which ones are the most important to your organization. Analyzing your payer mix enables you to determine which of these payers you should prioritize in contracting efforts. 

Consider your past relationship with them, the terms of their existing contract, and their overall track record. This can derisk your contracts further down the line, as you know what to expect from the partnership and may reduce the chance of disruptions and contractual disputes.

2. Keep contract terms clear 

Payer contracts are value-based contracts, which means they often come with confusing terms, so it’s best to be clear about those terms from the get-go. 

For example, payer contracts may extend remuneration based on factors such as bonus payments, bundled payments, or a more risk-based attribution. While others could rely on withholds, meaning that a set portion of expected payments are held and only released when certain conditions are met. 

All these moving parts mean that it’s fairly easy for a payment to go wrong, no payer is going to tell you you mistakenly underpaid them! Consistency is key here, so using standardized or automated contract templates for your payer contract management will ensure you’re able to track and keep on top of terms. 

3. Track and monitor compliance 

The healthcare industry is hot on compliance, as the regulatory landscape is complex and ever-changing. As a result, healthcare providers and organizations have to deal with multiple stakeholders beyond just payers. 

From regulatory requirements and privacy laws to provider-specific reimbursement structures and shifting payment models, payer contract management is complex. It’s important to monitor everything from delivery timelines to quality control and other contractual obligations

If you don’t have a set source of truth for this information, it can be difficult to track and monitor your compliance. If you want to speed up this process, you’ll need a centralized contract repository and fully searchable contracts. 

Want to know where to get started? Check out this simple guide to contract compliance.


4. Be prepared for renewals 

As with monitoring compliance, it’s also incredibly important to take a proactive approach towards payer contract renewals. This allows you to negotiate more favorable terms, and revisit existing clauses and conditions before the contract terminates. 

Payer contracts typically come with expiration dates meaning they can be renewed, renegotiated, or terminated. Auto-renew contracts can be problematic if payors are changing contract terms (especially rates) and changes are not transparent to a physician or healthcare organization. 

A proactive approach involves setting up contract reminders over time to give you more time to make strategic decisions on how to approach a renewal. 

Learn more about how to take charge of your contract renewals in this guide to renewal management

5. Invest in payer contract management software

Investing in contract management (CLM) software could be transformative for your payer contracts. A solution like Juro can allow healthcare organizations to create, agree, execute, and manage payer contracts up to 10x faster than traditional tools. Healthcare organizations using CLM can benefit from: 

  • Full visibility into contract data

  • Reduced contract administration

  • Faster and more efficient workflows

  • Opportunities to identify cost savings 

Juro’s AI-enabled contract automation platform empowers organizations to accelerate the creation, execution, and management of contracts. When it comes to payer contract management, software like Juro mitigates the risk of human error and missed renewals, helping you to be compliant. 

You can find out more by hitting the banner below.

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Payer contract management software features to look out for 

There are numerous CLMs out there to choose from, that’s why it’s important to consider the specifics of payer contracts and the challenges in managing them. 
For example, when managed correctly payer contracts can lead to cost savings and improved quality of care as it facilitates the negotiation of reimbursement terms. This means you’ll benefit from strong contract negotiation features and contract tracking. 

1. Secure contract repository

In order to track these contracts through every stage of the lifecycle, you'll need somewhere to store them and you want it to simplify how you search for specific agreements.

This alone is a dramatic improvement process where supplier contracts are stored as physical files, or scattered across shared drives. It also means you can quickly pull together those all-important files ahead of a fundraiser or due diligence process.

Juro makes this process even easier for healthcare organizations, with OCR search functionality that enables users to query contracts in seconds to find specific terms and values.

Juro's supplier contract management software also offers custom contract dashboards, making it easier than ever to filter and manage payer contracts at scale.

Juro's data-rich contract repository makes finding, tracking, and querying contracts quick and easy.

2. Automated contract reminders

The complex regulatory landscape for healthcare-related contracts means that regulations change and you need to be able to keep on top of these when managing supplier contracts.

When it comes to payer contracts, key contract data can often be spread across several different places, and there's no single source of truth for things like renewal dates, or payment dates. This increases contract risk and could leave you in a dangerous situation when it comes to renegotiating favourable terms.

Fortunately, you can use contract management software like Juro to automate contract reminders for key deadlines. Users simply tag the dates as contract metadata and customize the frequency of the reminders based on their preferences. 

The contract owner and relevant party will then be notified when the deadline is approaching, giving them instant visibility into important dates.

3. Review contracts with AI 

Complex contracts require negotiation, a contract management platform with AI functionality is a great way to save some time when reviewing and extracting data from contracts. 

For example, Juro’s legal AI assistant can be used to create and amend contracts, while setting guardrails for your drafting revising, and refining clauses. You can even use this AI functionality to identify legal risks in contracts or summarize contract terms in a format ready to share with stakeholders. 

Learn about how you can get started with AI assistant here… 

Which payer contract management software should you choose? 

Juro is the trusted platform for 6000+ companies already streamlining their contract management and is a Leader in the CLM category according to G2. This makes it an obvious choice if you’re in the market for payer contract management software. 


Juro’s end-to-end contract management platform includes automated templates, rich-text editor, and AI draft functionality, all working  seamlessly with the features we listed above, enabling healthcare organizations like yours to streamline payer contract management.

If you’re interested in streamlining your contract management process today, book a demo with the form below.

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