Before You Sign: 10 Tips for Tech Contracts

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It probably goes without saying that technology is an integral part of modern health care.

But how can you be sure you’re getting the best deal from your technology vendor?

You can’t be absolutely sure of course, but a few modifications to your vendor contract can help you avoid much of the risk associated with buying technology. 

Here are some things to consider: 

  1. Version protection: Many vendors discontinue software only to resell you the newer version. Instead, the vendor should provide you with future releases, system updates, and new versions at no cost.
  2. Government mandates: The vendor should stay in compliance with all government mandates and modify its software at no cost. 
  3. Tech support: Stipulate that support fees cannot be increased by more than the consumer price index.
  4. Contract validity: Ensure the contract is not valid until the vendor meets your acceptance requirements (such as the system operating as promised). 
  5. Warranty: Ensure the vendor will correct any malfunctions at its expense, and that support fees will be waived throughout the correction period.
  6. Malfunctions: Insist that malfunctions not corrected within an agreed upon time result in a full refund.
  7. Source code: The vendor should put the source code into an escrow account.
  8. Transferability: The vendor should allow you to assign or transfer your contract to a new owner.
  9. Additional users: Ensure future users can be added at a reduced cost.
  10. Protection: Cyber security protection should be at the vendor’s expense.  

As a Texas Medical Association member, you have access to no-cost technology contract reviews from TMA-approved vendor Coker Group. In addition, Coker offers a discount to members who use its services to negotiate contract terms. 

“We used Coker Group’s services to negotiate our electronic medical records/practice management (EMR/PM) vendor agreement. I am profoundly grateful and impressed with the value and benefit the Coker Group has provided,” said Carol Hampton, administrator with Houston-based Neurological Group of Texas. “Without their expertise, knowledge, and understanding of EMR/PM agreements, I would have been in a dire situation with our contract that was riddled with unfair and undue burdens.” 

If you’re interested in learning more, or have a technology contract ready for review, begin by filling out this brief questionnaire

For more information about this service or other office technologies, contact TMA at hit@texmed.org or (800) 880-5720 or visit TMA’s Health Information Technology Resource Center.  

 

Last Updated On

August 31, 2018