What Suppliers Don’t Know About Vendor Credentialing

February 22, 2012 at 4:11 pm 1 comment

Vendor and rep credentialing in healthcare is now a standard practice.  And what was once left for the sales and service representatives to manage on their own is quickly taking root as a corporate function.

Suppliers in healthcare are recognizing the potential impact of an “every rep for him/herself” approach on a company’s business.  Inconsistent and inadequate credentialing can affect every area of a company’s operations—from financial to legal. Even corporate reputation.

As we talk with healthcare vendors across the U.S. about their efforts to manage credentialing, we see some common pitfalls when credentialing hasn’t been adopted as a corporate function.

  • A lack of standard company responses to credentialing and of a way to streamline these processes creates confusion for reps and staff, causing lost time and productivity.
  • Without oversight, sales reps can inadvertently sign inappropriate documents (such as business associate agreements) which could lead to unforeseen legal concerns.
  • If credentialing documents aren’t in place, sales reps’ access to hospitals and healthcare providers can be jeopardized, creating a delay or loss in sales and services.
  • Without centralization, credentialing is parceled out to various departments and staff resulting in gaps in credential coverage.
  • Eventually, healthcare providers may begin to question a vendor’s ability to safely deliver services to their patients if a vendor establishes a pattern of non-compliance.

According to Sonya Harrison, with Ethicon Endo Surgery, “Vendor credentialing is a corporate function with Ethicon Endo Surgery and I’m quite sure it is at other large companies as well. We have our own compliance programs and adherence to those programs gives us the opportunity to ensure our associates are in compliance internally.  If they are in compliance internally, it’s relatively easy to be in compliance externally.  If companies don’t have an internal compliance program, formalized training or some sort of credentialing process, there may be doubt externally about a company’s ability to conform to healthcare compliance programs.”

More and more suppliers are responding to this exposure by making rep credentialing a corporate responsibility.  Then, vendor credentialing becomes centralized.  It has a designated “home” and isn’t left to drift from department to department or to reps.   Vendor credentialing gets the resources it needs to be done effectively. And the supplier can carefully manage one of its greatest assets — its reputation.

Guest post by Jean Hodges, Vendormate

Entry filed under: best practices, vendor compliance, vendor credentialing, vendor management.

What Are You in For? Joint Commission Adds Usability Test to Vendor Credentialing

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Richard A. Gartrell  |  July 30, 2012 at 11:47 pm

    The foundation assumption in the above that credentialing has value to the vendor and the consuming healthcare facility. Isn’t it just another beaurcacy? We see to hundreds of healthcare facilities and are approved vendors/provider with Premier, Foodbuy, VA and many others GPO’s and independent and I have never been asked to or about credentialing. I would be interested in talking to someone about your services. Richard Gartrell CFO 760-560-5286 ext 110

    Reply

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