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Vendor Liaison Office, Frequently Asked Questions

What is the purpose of the Vendor Liaison Office (VLO)?

 

The purpose of the VLO is to manage vendor representatives of UW Health. The VLO will be in charge of registering and badging vendors, as well as maintaining a database of vendors and monitoring their activities. The VLO will ensure that vendors are adhering to UW Health Policy 11.19, Regulation of Vendor Representatives and the Vendor Liaison Office, in order to protect physician and staff efficiency and integrity, to avoid disruption of care, and to ensure patient privacy and confidentiality.

 

Do I need to register?

 

Yes, all vendors of all clinical materials (drugs, med/surg supplies, imaging and laboratory technology… anything that is involved in the care of patients, either directly or indirectly) must register. However, there are a couple of exceptions delineated in UW Health Policy 11.19. Registration will be done through the VLO by filling out a paper registration form, paying a registration fee, and obtaining a photo ID badge. In the future, some vendors will have the option of registering via the Internet.

 

Do I need to pay a registration fee and secure a photo ID badge?

 

 

Most vendor representatives do need to pay a fee and obtain (and wear) a photo ID badge. All vendor representatives that have a sales, marketing, or promotional responsibility must pay the annual registration fee and obtain a photo ID badge. Vendor representatives who do not have a sales responsibility (for example, research staff, service personnel, etc.) do not need to pay the fee or secure a badge but they still must register. The registration fee is determined on a yearly basis and is pro-rated accordingly. The fee for FY 2014 is $250.

 

My district sales manager visits UW Hospital and Clinics once or twice a year with me. Do they need to register, obtain a badge, or pay the registration fee?

 

They must register. However, as long they are supervising you who has registered, obtained a badge, paid the fee, and listed the sales manager’s name as your supervisor on your registration form, the manager does not need to obtain a badge or pay a fee. Note: Those supervisors in need of patient area privilege, must comply with ALL of the requirements outlined in UW Health Policy 11.19.

 

UWHC doesn’t currently buy my product, but I am trying to change that. Do I need to register, obtain a badge, or pay the registration fee?

 

Yes, yes, and yes. All vendor representatives, regardless of whether you currently sell products to UW Health or plan to sell to UW Health, are required to register, pay the registration fee, and wear a badge while at UW Health facilities.

 

I work for a vendor but my role is exclusively research coordination (for example, I am a study monitor). Do I need to register, obtain a badge, or pay the registration fee?

 

Personnel involved with research do need to register and obtain either a day pass or a badge. Your registration will be valid for the remainder of the registration period after registering. For visits longer than one consecutive day, up to five consecutive week days, you can sign in once and be issued a day pass. If you need to be at UW Health longer than five days, you will need to obtain a badge. Vendor representatives involved solely with research coordination do not need to pay the yearly registration fee.

 

I work with UW Health faculty and staff in the direct care of patients (in surgical procedures, etc.). Is there anything special I need to do?

 

While our policy specifically prohibits representatives from interacting with our patients, there are a few exceptions to that rule (such as reps who have a legitimate role in servicing equipment or training faculty and staff). If you qualify as an exception to this rule, you will need to provide the VLO with documentation of a negative tuberculosis skin test, vaccination against or documented immunity from measles, mumps, rubella, varicella, and hepatitis B. You must also complete the annual UW Hospital and Clinics Safety and Infection Control competency assessment. The Vendor Liaison Office will coordinate the documentation of these requirements when you register.

 

I need to access scrub uniforms. Is there anything special I need to do?

 

When you register you will be issued a Personal Identification Number (PIN) that will allow you to obtain a set of scrubs for a $2 fee. You cannot obtain a second pair of scrubs until the first set is turned in. All scrubs must be returned prior to ceasing business at UW Health or a $25 invoice will be sent to your company. Again, the Vendor Liaison Office will coordinate this process, including billing the companies for the use of UW Health scrubs.

 

What does the registration fee pay for?

 

The registration fee pays for the VLO Coordinator and staff, representative badging, vendor website and database maintenance costs, and other miscellaneous costs associated with managing vendor relations and policy compliance.

 

My company may be concerned about paying a registration fee. How will the VLO demonstrate that the fee is within a "safe harbor?"

 

At the end of every fiscal year, the VLO will provide a summary of the way in which we spent the funds we raised, thus documenting that the funds were spent in an appropriate manner. This summary may be obtained by submitting a request via email. While the VLO will not earn a profit, it will also not be a financial burden to UW Health.

 

I'm a new representative and I'm coming in mid-year. Will I need to pay the entire annual registration fee?

 

No. You will be charged a pro-rated fee based on the number of quarters remaining in the registration year. For example, if you will be registering any time between October 1 and December 31, your registration fee will be $187.50.

 

What if I leave mid-year? Will I get some of the registration fee back? What if my company is providing a replacement representative?

 

No, if you do not stay at UW Health for the entire registration period, you will not receive any money back. However, if they you paid the annual fee, you can transfer that fee to another representative from your company for the remainder of the current registration period. You must surrender your badge before the new representative will be issued a badge.

 

What if I have lost my badge?  What do I need to do?

 

You must report to the VLO, pay a $25 badge replacement fee, and then you will be issued a new badge.

 

What will happen at the end of the year when my badge expires?

 

Starting in May of each calendar year the VLO will begin issuing reminders for the upcoming renewal which will begin every July 1. You will be required to turn in your old badge to the VLO, pay the annual registration fee and verify your registration information, and then you will be issued a new badge. As noted above, you may also need to complete the annual UW Hospital and Clinics Safety and Infection Control training, and document updated tuberculosis test and vaccine status to obtain a new badge. The badges for the upcoming year will be valid for the remaining period of the current registration period if you choose to register before July 1.

 

I am unclear about the policy and have other questions. Who can help?

 

If you have any further questions, please contact the VLO by e-mail at VLO@uwhealth.org and they will do their best to help.