What you need to know to get started:
We want you to be successful. To do so, you’ll need to understand and comply with our performance expectations. Below, you’ll see guidelines on vendor ethics, contracts, representation and more. To begin, download our Vendor Performance Requirements (PDF).
All vendors must comply fully with Federal, State and Local laws and regulations governing the conduct of business, as well as those additional requirements under which providers of health care services must operate (i.e., Medicare/Medicaid Fraud and Abuse).
Vendors are expected to negotiate in good faith and act as true business partners in the best interests of the members once an agreement is reached.
HRS Market Unification
Although member organizations make choices in the best interest of their specific organization, any activity by a vendor that is intended to divide market share or otherwise divert purchase volumes is not acceptable. Health Resource Services/Intalere (HRS) members work together to pool resources and purchasing activity as much as possible while working in good faith with our vendors. It is expected that all vendors will honor that spirit of unification and work with the membership in good faith.
Since HRS provides choices to members, members will not always be united in the selection of any single vendor. In that light, and with the respect due to all viable vendors and business partners, all vendors are to refrain from negative comparisons of their own products or services to other providers.
All contracts and other forms of agreements negotiated on behalf of the HRS membership shall be in writing and signed by duly authorized agents of each party. Such signed contracts or other agreements are not effective until both parties have signed same and both parties are in possession of such documents signed by both parties.
It is the responsibility of both parties to be familiar with the terms and conditions of such contracts and agreements as both parties are thereby obligated to perform, not only within the provisions of the contract or agreement, but also within the spirit of such.
HRS shall publish such contracts and agreements, both in summary and in detail format to its membership and each contracted vendor is responsible to provide same information to its staff as appropriate. Such staff would include, but not be limited to, field sales or service representatives, customer service and/or call center staff, billing and accounting staff, and any other staff members who would be in a position to represent the vendor under the terms of the applicable contract or agreement.
HRS members value diversity in a competitive market place and especially value their vendor business partners. The same is expected of each vendor business partner. As business partners, each vendor is expected to provide thorough and complete business and market information to members in as much detail as is permitted without damaging the vendor’s business activities. All shared information shall be considered confidential and held in strict confidence to be used only for the benefit of the member individually or the HRS membership in general. Vendors are expected to not only comply with contract or agreement terms and conditions, but also to provide sound advice to HRS and to members concerning the most effective applications of such contracts or agreements. Beyond formal arrangements, vendors are expected to keep both HRS and members well informed concerning market situations, trends, etc., while keeping the best interests of the members in mind.
It is held by HRS and its members that this type of open, trusting, and sharing partnering forms the basis of long-lasting and effective business relationships.
The same standards of partnership can be expected to be provided by HRS and its members to each business partner, including the security of confidential business information.
In addition to the foregoing, vendors who do business with HRS and its members are expected to provide for, or perform in the following manner, such performance to be monitored and reported by HRS and its individual members:
- Provide the best possible value and performance to members. Value includes acquisition costs, freight costs, payment discounts, product or service utilization, appropriate unit of purchase, payment options, product or service performance, vendor general responsiveness, and account representative performance to name only some of the considerations related to overall value and performance.
- Provide net invoice pricing rather than rebates after the fact.
- Vendor must remain market competitive throughout the relationship with HRS and its members.
- Generally, provide product or service samples at no cost or reduced costs for the purpose of member evaluations of same.
- Provide agreed upon products and/or services efficiently, reliably, accurately, and timely according to agreed upon terms and conditions and the needs of HRS members.
- Provide deliveries of product or service as required or otherwise agreed to by each member. Missed deliveries shall incur penalties.
- Provide accurate picking and documentation of deliveries of products. Picking or identification errors shall incur penalties.
- Invoices are to be timely and correct. Errors shall incur penalties.
- Provide a full range of electronic order communication, verification, and payment modalities to meet each member’s needs and business practices.
- Provide training to its entire staff as appropriate to the needs of the HRS members and the requirements of this document as well as the terms and conditions of any contract or agreement between vendor and HRS.
- Disputes are to be addressed timely and in good faith by both parties with the objective to resolve such promptly, fairly, and equitably.
- Activity reports showing, as a minimum, quantity, product identification, costs, fill rates, lead times, invoice or picking/packing errors, missed deliveries, and contract compliance, will be prepared accurately and routinely. Such routine to be mutually agreed upon, to each member individually and a summary report provided to HRS.
- All appropriate contracted sales activity to be promptly and accurately reported to HRS and to Intalere.
- Vendor to be available to report to HRS activity and performance periodically as mutually agreed.
- Provide for, and communicate a disaster or emergency response process that provides for the needs of each member as needed or requested.
- Train and monitor the performance of account representatives per the performance requirements noted below.
- Provide account representatives with information to allow them to perform per the requirements below.
Vendors with whom HRS members do business are expected to provide fully acceptable, well trained, account representatives, both in the field and in other customer service and support positions. Given the geographic diversity of the region represented by HRS and the purchase volume differences among members, it is expected that not all accounts can be serviced by each vendor’s account representatives equally. It is required, however, that each vendor does provide periodic account representation to physically call on each member who does business with that vendor. Call schedules and formats are to be mutually agreed upon individually by each member and vendor.
Account Representative Standards
Each account representative individual is expected to comply fully with the following performance standards and expectations:
- Actively promote the best interests of the member organization.
- Perform his or her duties in a professional and ethical manner as a business partner to the member organization.
- Know and comply with the member organization’s policies and procedures.
- Provide information to the member that pertains to product selections, costs, alternative products, quality and usage.
- Effectively conduct product promotions, demonstrations, training, and provide other similar expertise in coordination with the responsible contact within the member’s staff.
- Representatives are expected to have an excellent working knowledge of the supplies and/or services provided and the market in which they operate. If not, the representative is expected to be able to readily provide such expertise. This information is to be openly and completely shared with the member account for its benefit and for its ability to make strategic market product or service decisions.
- Representatives are expected to have a good working knowledge of the healthcare providers’ financial environment in order to properly understand costs and reimbursements related to the vendor’s products or services.
- Effectively coordinate the member’s accounts, as to pricing, credits, returns, and general contract compliance as well as the specific activity of the member’s account.
- Effectively coordinate activity with all pertinent participants of the member’s supply chain related to the vendor’s products or services.
- Be punctual for all in person calls to each member account. Absences without prior notification, and tardiness are not acceptable.
- Be intimately familiar with the disaster response requirements of the member and the vendor.
- Be available or accessible. Each representative is expected to have appropriate communication tools, including cell phone, pager, voice mail, and e-mail, all of which are routinely and promptly responded to. Personal contact information is to be provided or a means of contacting the individual during normal off hours is to be provided to each account. This is to be used by members only in the event of emergency and is not to be shared or abused.
- Pricing or other information requested is to be provided to members within two working days. If unable to provide such information within two days, the representative is to inform the member of such and provide an appropriate follow up date.
- Keep member informed of market conditions, supply chain issues, and pending price changes as far in advance as possible, typically, at least thirty days prior notice is required if available to the representative.