Vendor Credentialing Don’ts

October 21, 2010 at 7:21 pm Leave a comment

Vendormate’s recent vendor advisory council forums highlighted a number of places where healthcare systems and hospitals have overstepped reasonable business practices by asking representatives to enter into agreements on behalf of their employers.  The vendors expressed the overriding concern that changing contract terms, indemnification, BAAs, and such aren’t something the individual rep can negotiate.

Because Vendormate works with so many vendor companies as well as hospital systems, we can always recommend best practices about what balances the interests of both the vendor companies and the hospitals in the realm of vendor credentialing. So as a convenience to hospitals everywhere,  here’s a list of vendor credentialing don’ts.

Anything that Affects Contract Terms –The account representative doesn’t have the authority to sign off on anything that modifies contract terms.   Healthcare buyers sometimes try to use a vendor credentialing program as a chance to slip in termination clauses, but that’s not appropriate.   If it’s important enough to modify a contract, it should be included in the contract proper.

Penalties – Penalty clauses for violating a hospital policy that state the contract could be terminated or require termination of the employee.   Again, if it’s that important, it should be negotiated as part of the contract.

Business Associate Agreements – Account representatives are not in the position to accept a Business Associate Agreement.   While the BAA controversy rising from the expanded breach notification requirements related to the Stimulus Plan have died down somewhat, you might be surprised how many hospitals try to take the easy way out by classifying every supplier as a Business Associate.  Don’t do it.

Indemnity – Account representatives typically are not directors of their employers, so they have no authority to approve indemnification or liability agreements.

While vendor representatives are the face of the hospital suppliers, hospitals have to be careful not to overstep here.  Perhaps the easiest guiding principle about what’s not appropriate is, “If the tables were turned, would you want an employee of your hospital to be faced with agreeing to that?”

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

Credentials Required — Again Vendor Credentialing Dos

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