Healthcare RFPs: Three Reasons to Go Public
Healthcare request for proposals (RFPs) may be public—open to any qualified supplier, large or small—or by invitation only. By using a public RFP, you remove a potential bottleneck—managing the types of vendors who can see/respond/compete. There are three other important benefits to issuing a public RFP:
- Public RFPs may be required in certain situations. In the U.S., the healthcare RFP process may be necessary due to regulations outlined in the Sarbanes Oxley Act. This ensures that investors, i.e., healthcare facilities, are protected against fraudulent service providers and guarantees the authenticity of both the RFP and the responses from suppliers.1 Recipients of government grants must use procurement procedures that comply with U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) regulations. This means that government-run hospitals, or research hospitals using federal grant money, must acquire goods and services through competitive bidding (i.e., public RFP).2
- More vendors, and a greater diversity of suppliers, to choose from. Any company, regardless of size or annual revenue, can respond to a public RFP and receive a fair chance at the business. This open approach supports supplier diversity—contracts for goods and services include businesses that are owned and operated by minorities, women, or veterans. Supplier diversity creates local jobs and other community benefits and supports compliance with government and grant contracting requirements around supplier diversity. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that racial and ethnic minority groups will compose a majority of the U.S. population by 2042. As demographics change, diverse suppliers are able to provide new products and services.3
- More competition leads to better prices. When they know other vendors are bidding on a project, suppliers feel pressure to offer the most competitive pricing and most efficient services.
While public RFPs have a positive impact on the community and can save money, in some situations healthcare organizations may want to limit RFPs to certain suppliers. Therefore, software that automates the RFP process should be flexible to allow both public and by-invitation RFPs.
Strategic RFP software makes it easy to distribute and manage public RFPs. Such software generates a unique URL for a specific RFP. Anyone who has access to the link can provide their contact information and register as a vendor, saving the purchasing department from having to collect this data. The newly registered vendor immediately gains access to the RFP to review it and decide whether to respond. The single link can be posted on the hospital’s website or social media pages. Responses to the online RFP are private and secure.
You can choose not to distribute the link publicly, sharing it only with preferred vendors instead. To do so, just email that RFP link to the vendors with whom you want to do business.
TractManager’s new Public RFP feature simplifies RFP enrollment and management processes, whether your RFP is public … or not.
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Top 10 Negotiating Strategies
Skilled negotiators are like musical virtuosos. They have an extensive repertoire of tactics from which to draw, and they know when and how to make them a part of their performance. But negotiating healthcare contracts for capital, purchased services, and IT services can test the artistry of even the most masterful negotiator.