How Health First Health Plans met the needs of their growing vendor network by establishing a fully-integrated vendor management business unit in less than six months.
Health First Health Plan’s vendor management program was unable to keep up with the business’s exponential growth, so they turned to Vendor Centric for vendor management consulting. In less than six months, Vendor Centric helped them establish an enterprise-wide vendor management office with the resources, staff, and technology needed to support their operations. The new office has saved the company money, improved efficiency, increased visibility, and brought discipline to their vendor management program. Vendor Centric continues to work with Health First Health Plans on an as-needed basis to provide strategic advice for optimizing their vendor management program.
Ad Hoc Vendor Management Can’t Keep Up With Company Growth
As membership in Health First Health Plans (HFHP) grew exponentially from 60,000 to 160,000 members in Brevard and Indian River counties, Florida, successful vendor management became more critical to their mission of providing quality care and also more difficult to attain.
Growth stressed existing vendor management practices, which were decentralized and had been mostly created on an ad hoc basis across the organization. An analysis of the program uncovered concerns with some vendor contracts and other problems related to overbilling, performance, and contracting.
Not knowing how widespread these issues were but fearing that the vulnerabilities could become larger problems down the line, HFHP reached out to Vendor Centric for help. Specifically, they wanted Vendor Centric to bring structure and discipline to their vendor relationships by creating an enterprise-wide vendor management office (VMO) to centralize and streamline activities.
Strategy and Solution
Creating and Executing a Unique VMO Blueprint
The Vendor Centric team worked with HFHP to create client-specific policies and procedures that would support all six stages of the Vendor Management Lifecycle: sourcing, risk assessments & due diligence, contracting & onboarding, purchasing, ongoing management & monitoring, and termination & offboarding.
The teams met consistently over a period of three months to workshop the vendor management fundamentals, design workflow, and create HFHP’s unique VMO blueprint. The blueprint developed by the team provided a roadmap for rolling out the VMO. Key aspects of the blueprint included:
- Vendor Segmentation: Segmenting vendors into tiers based on relationship and risk.
- Roles and Responsibilities: Identifying key stakeholders and their roles and responsibilities in the vendor management process.
- Activities: Defining vendor management activities and assigning them to the appropriate stakeholders.
- VMO Staffing: Designing a staffing structure and resourcing plan for the new centralized office.
- Software: Identifying and implementing a cloud-based vendor management software that could meet the needs of HFHP’s vendor management program.
With a blueprint in place, Vendor Centric helped HFHP execute each of these elements and create a fully-functioning vendor management business unit. Together, they went from ideation to blueprint to implementation of the vendor management office in less than six months.
Strategic, Streamlined Vendor Management
Within the first six months of its launch, the VMO identified opportunities for significant cost savings and renegotiated targeted contracts that saved money and remediated risk-related issues. Future cost savings came from collecting on penalties, renegotiating contracts, catching accidental overbilling, and leveraging certain vendor relationships in lieu of others.
But cost savings are only one part of the benefits that HFHP has seen. The VMO has also brought discipline and much-needed visibility to the vendor management process. Roles and responsibilities are defined, processes are documented, and a system is in place to manage activities and provide visibility to all stakeholders involved.
Automation is also saving HFHP time. Because third-party risk management activities have been automated, information is centralized, and time-consuming manual tasks have been eliminated (such as performing Excel-based risk assessments and due diligence reviews).
Vendor Centric continues to advise HFHP on an as-needed basis, supporting them with both strategic advice and practical support.
“In addition to helping HFHP develop the blueprint for the VMO, it was important to transfer knowledge along the way. We focused on being both a consultant and a coach so that the HFHP team could be self-sufficient in a very short period of time.”
Tom Rogers, Vendor Centric
About Health First
Health First is Central Florida’s only fully integrated health system. With a mission to positively change the wellness and health of the communities they serve, Health First offers the latest technological advances and quality care at four hospitals and through many Outpatient & Wellness Services, as well as the area’s only Trauma and Heart Centers.
Interested in reducing third-party risk and driving cost savings the way Health First did?
Vendor Centric can help you establish, implement and optimize a vendor management program designed for your unique needs and goals. Schedule a call to talk with a consultant today.