2009 Review: Critical Mass in Healthcare Credentialing Achieved

December 9, 2009 at 2:37 pm Leave a comment

The end of a year is a dream come true for writers and commentators because their content topics are delivered to them giftwrapped complete with a bow on top.   It’s time for either the “Year in Review” musings or the “New Year Predictions” article.  Well, I’m certainly going to take advantage of that.   Over the next few postings, I’ll look at the major changes in healthcare credentialing in the past year and then predict what’s ahead for 2010.

Let’s start with what in hindsight will seem obvious:   Vendor Credentialing in Healthcare Achieves Critical Mass.  

Just two years ago, hospitals, healthcare systems, and suppliers were filled with angst about the necessity of structured, organized vendor credentialing programs.   Debate raged about exactly “who” was creating these requirements and where the checklist of requirements could be found.    Suppliers, anxious to maintain access and close ties to their customers, balked at anything that would change the current sales and service models.   Healthcare systems, constantly trying to balance “must have” regulations against “nice to have” best practice recommendations,  wanted an easy answer and quick solution.    

Clearcut answers weren’t easy to find, yet healthcare systems realized they couldn’t continue without a methodical approach whether home-grown or outsourced.   Today, we estimate that over half the hospitals in the U.S. have some form of a structured vendor credentialing program in place, up from about a quarter at the start of 2009.

As with many new processes, adoptions started in the mid-market, moved to the larger systems, and were picked up finally by the smaller hospitals.  Large single unit hospitals and mid-sized systems kicked off the movement because they are big enough to envision the benefit of a formalized vendor credentialing program but not so large that implementing one would require extensive internal consensus building.   With that market foundation in place, larger systems were able to build on lessons learned as they came into the space.   Finally, moving into 2010, smaller hospitals will look for ways to adopt similar programs.  

So we close out 2009 with the pull of vendor credentialing critical mass in full swing from the healthcare side.   The next installment in our series will examine changes in the push(back) from the vendor community in 2009.

Entry filed under: vendor credentials, vendor management. Tags: , , .

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