Businesses of all shapes and sizes are run largely by a series of legally binding agreements, or contracts. Any given South Florida business likely has a number of contracts with other firms, including suppliers, creditors and business partners and affiliates.

Likewise, Florida businesses make contracts with their customers and even with their own employees, not to mention landlords and those who provide services on behalf of the business.

It is no surprise, then, that many businesses, at least at some point, will be in the midst of a contract dispute. While many of these disputes can get resolved via a quick phone call or email, others may require some more formal negotiation or even full-blown litigation.

While businesses ultimately need to calculate the risks and benefits of pursuing their rights under a contract via litigation, events in the news show that contract disputes are not just about a business’s bottom line.

Indeed, in another state, a payer of health benefits has sued a chain of hospitals that was recently expelled from the payer’s network due to a contract dispute.

As an out-of-network provider, the hospital chain is now allegedly planning to engage in what in the trade is called balance billing. The out-of-network provider passes the cost of being out-of-network on to the payer’s patients by billing them extra to compensate for a lower reimbursement rate. The payer has sued in order to prevent the chain from engaging in the practice.

This case illustrates how problems with contracts can in many cases impact a business’s customers. Sometimes, pursuing litigation with regard to a contract can be the best way to protect a business’s goodwill and customer base.