For some in the healthcare industry, standardization has a negative connotation, denoting a “cookie-cutter” approach to patient care.
Yet there is one significant area of healthcare where there should be no debate about the benefits of standardization: vendor credentialing for healthcare providers and suppliers.
Universal Standards Prevent Administrative Logjams in Vendor Credentialing
A number of healthcare professionals argue that standardizing care applies a one-size-fits-all philosophy that fails to consider patients’ individual needs. Advocates for standardization counter that regulating medical products and services based on verifiable analyses ensures the quality and safety of patient care while managing costs.
Each side may have its valid points. However, when it comes to processing all of the vendors/suppliers that visit a healthcare facility in one day, standardizing those protocols is the most effective solution.
If credentialing processes are based on universal standards, healthcare providers and suppliers create environments that promote quality patient care and efficiencies in time and financial resources.
When a healthcare organization does not streamline its credentialing procedures, costly administrative bottleneck situations often arise, created by documentation and identification requirements, health screenings and tests, and lengthy submission and approval times.
C4UHC supporter Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed) recently shared some numbers with The Journal of Healthcare Contracting on what vendor credentialing costs the healthcare industry. The overall annual expense, carried by both suppliers and providers, exceeds $800 million based on:
- The number of hospitals in the country (approximately 6,093, per the American Hospital Association)
- The number of credentialed sales reps (an estimated 350,000)
- The estimated time that suppliers and providers spend on credentialing (an estimated 240 hours per hospital per campus per year, and 40 hours per year by or on behalf of the average sales rep.)
Imagine Having Different Security Requirements at Airports
A real-world example of how that frustrating challenge has been addressed and diffused is the TSA and airport security. Imagine that you are flying across the U.S. for work, visiting multiple cities on your trip. Then, you discover that each airport’s security checkpoint requires a different form of ID–a passport is required at one airport, a social security card is mandatory at the next, etc. What happens if you don’t have all the different documents you need to reach all your work destinations?
For many healthcare supplier representatives and the providers they serve, current vendor credentialing obligations pose almost this exact same challenge. Vendors may have separate entrance requirements for each of the multiple facilities they visit each day. Both they and the facilities’ administrative staff must then spend costly, extra hours for the vendors to secure access
To remedy those challenges, The Consortium for Universal Healthcare Credentialing, Inc. (C4UHC) advocates for a universal standard in vendor credentialing for healthcare providers and suppliers, based on a partnership/collaboration with the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the National Electric Manufacturers Association (NEMA) C4UHC is the only organization dedicated to the adoption of a national standard for “representative credentialing.” A streamlined healthcare credentialing process yields many benefits to organizations:
- Protects patient safety and confidentiality
- Eliminates duplicative efforts and costs
- Meets the needs of both healthcare providers and suppliers
C4UHC encourages healthcare providers and suppliers to adopt the ANSI/NEMA SC-2020 American National Standard for Supplier Credentialing in Healthcare. The more professionals that incorporate its use, the more efficient, cost-effective, and compliant credentialing becomes.
To learn more, go to the ANSI/NEMA SC 1-2020 American National Standard for Supplier Credentialing in Healthcare page of our website.
The mission of the Consortium for Universal Healthcare Credentialing, Inc. (C4UHC), a 501 (c)(6) tax-exempt corporation, is to promote the common business interests of organizations connected with the healthcare industry in order to advance American National Standards for a streamlined healthcare credentialing process. This will protect patient safety and confidentiality, eliminate duplicative efforts and costs, and meet the needs of both healthcare providers and suppliers.