Myths About Vendor Credentialing

October 4, 2010 at 9:03 pm 1 comment

Vendormate has recently hosted a number of forums with vendors who have been registering with hospital vendor credentialing programs.   In some forums, hospital representatives shared why they’ve implemented these programs and what they need from vendor participation.   These session drove home some commonly held myths about vendor credentialing in healthcare that need to be buried.

Myth #1 — All these policies and requirements are brand new.

Actually, the hospitals have been asking for compliance with many  of these programs and for these documents for a while.   However, without an infrastructure to systematically gather and track the information, the collection was spotty and the recall inconsistent.  Reps signed off on policies or showed documents to whoever at a hospital asked for them.   The hospital didn’t have a central record of who had collected what.   And supplier companies certainly had no chance to see what their reps were signing on their behalf.  With systematic vendor credentialing programs in place, the visibility has increased for both hospitals and for vendors.

Myth #2 —  Hospitals are doing this because they don’t trust vendors.

Hospitals are doing this because they aren’t allowed to “trust” vendors.   Hospitals would prefer to rely on the vendors to handle and document all of this.   But government regulators and auditor behaviors tell hospitals that they need to hold anyone who interacts with a patient on their behalf to the same standards as their own staff.    The minuscule margins that hospitals have on most procedures mean that the hospital that is denied reimbursement for not meeting these standards risks a dangerous dip into the red.

Myth #3 — Hospitals and their suppliers fully understand each others point of view.

So maybe this isn’t a commonly held belief.   But the fact that it isn’t consistently true leads to ill will.   Yet, both sides share an interest in making this work.   We’ve seen countless “aha” moments from both vendors and hospitals when they sit at the same table and talk about the issues and the best routes to success.

Vendormate is committed to working with hospitals and suppliers to define reasonable best practices that serve the interests of both sides.  We’ll share more of the feedback from vendors to hospitals in this blog over the next few weeks.

Entry filed under: vendor credentials.

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Joan Hall  |  January 17, 2012 at 2:41 pm

    Many hospitals apply the standard of holding the vendor’s staff to the same standards as their own, by making assumptions about what the Joint Commission intends them to do with vendors without verifying their interpretation with the Joint Commission staff. This has led to impossible demands that simply cannot be met. For instance, demanding actual health and personnel records of vendor employees, rather than accepting a letter confirming the existence of supporting records in the vendor’s HR department. The hospital administrators do not understanding that there are legal reasons why vendor employee records cannot and should not be freely available to them, since the employees are not the hospital’s and they are not entitled to the level of personal information this implies.


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