Vendor Credentialing Dos

October 28, 2010 at 9:11 pm Leave a comment

Last week’s post noted four things a rep shouldn’t be asked to agree to in a vendor credentialing application: 

  1. Anything that changes the contract term
  2. Penalties
  3. Business associate agreements
  4. Indemnity or liability agreements

The common principle is that these items are part of the agreement between the buying and selling entity.   They aren’t related to the behaviors or characteristics of the rep, so the rep isn’t in a position to commit or agree to any of these terms on behalf of the employer.

But an inherent value of vendor credentialing programs is that it can provide a centralized window to the characteristics of supplier and account representatives.   So if a hospital shouldn’t ask a rep to sign off on these, how does the hospital achieve the single source of truth?

Here are two things a hospital can do.

Store the Document – Your vendor credentialing program is a great tool for information management.   Leverage the tool to store the document and automate expiration alerts.   Healthcare systems can certainly ask the representative to add the current attestation of the already-negotiated-indemnity coverage to the system.   Just don’t ask them to personally sign off on an agreement that creates new obligations for their employer.

Add Vendor Credentialing to Your Contracting Process – To a certain extent, everything is on the table during the contract negotiation phase.   Both sides are negotiating for acceptable terms in a final agreement. Hospitals should articulate their vendor credentialing program participation requirements during the negotiation.  Now is the time to have the vendor company agree to that they qualify as a business associate and are subject to the breach notification requirements.  Now is the time to define any penalties.   This way each side walks into the relationship with a clear understanding of expectations.   Both sides can take any terms to their appropriate managers for sign-off, and no one is caught off guard.

In the end, there are two tiers in the vendor credentialing experience.  First, there is the company to company, or buyer to seller, level.   Second is the rep level.    Contract terms and the like are between the supplier and the buyer.  A rep can’t change those terms, but a rep can supply supporting documents.  Policies about behavior and individual level sanction clearance are between the hospital and the individual.  Hospitals can certainly ask the rep to agree to those.  Either way, hospitals need to consider each requirement and present it to the right party.

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

Vendor Credentialing Don’ts Vendors to Hospitals: We’re Not Employees

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