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The value of a diverse healthcare supply base

Diversity for a comprehensive purchased services system

Diversity is a hot topic in healthcare, from meeting the needs of diverse patients to contracting with diverse vendors. The Joint Commission has issued documents noting the importance of meeting the needs of diverse patients. Federal and State governments have issued mandates to those who take federal and state funding requiring them to do business with a certain amount of diverse vendors. Healthcare facilities don’t have choices in the demographic of patients they treat, but they do have a choice in their vendors.

Developing a Comprehensive Purchased Services System

Diverse vendors are businesses owned by minorities, women, veterans and service-disabled veterans. Increasingly, healthcare providers have diverse vendor goals typically in the form of conducting business with a percentage of diverse vendors. Healthcare systems are pillars of the local community and many have religious or social goals as a guiding mission and it’s not uncommon for them to want to give back to and strengthen the community by contracting with diverse vendors.

Organizations that are city- or state-owned have mandated diversity requirements. As an example, the organization may be required to contract 20% of the value of a service contract to a diverse vendor. This method achieves the same goals as the above (strengthening the community) while satisfying mandated requirements.

There are additional benefits of doing business with diverse vendors. As local community members, diverse vendors can provide a higher level of service & attention. Studies also show that MWBEs have lower operating costs than larger competitors which have the market power to pass these costs to the marketplace. Because MWBEs operate with such unique challenges, they tend to lead the pack in regards to innovation and creativity. This may lead to operating at higher levels at a lower cost.

There are several certifications accepted by the Federal Government (notably via the Small Business Administration) that certify a company as a MWBE. Have you tried to find diverse vendors for a specific contract – searching for a database, for some sort of official & verifiable certification – and come up short? There remains an immense gap in easily finding healthcare MWBEs.

Industries such as defense, automotive and aerospace have developed comprehensive databases for their employees to find MWBE as part of the sourcing process. There are multiple states that search maintain accurate and easily queried databases. However, at a national level, healthcare lacks the MWBE visibility which is critical to the growing number of multi-state healthcare delivery networks and ACOs.

Vendors that participate in the Medpricer process can easily denote their MWBE status, which you can use to locate MWBE vendors. On a national basis, Medpricer sees a great opportunity to consolidate this vendor information and make it more accessible in your search for an MWBE that meets your requirements.

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