Vendor Neutral Healthcare VMS Not So Neutral Anymore

Medefis-not-vendor-netural A couple of weeks ago I blogged about the recent acquisition of the healthcare vendor management company Medefis by the private equity group Welsh, Carson, Anderson and Stowe. What I didn't realize is that this private equity group also owns a very large healthcare staffing company called Onward Healthcare.

This definitely changes the game for Medefis and the companies working with them. Being owned by a staffing agency or a company that owns staffing agencies definitely negates your vendor neutrality. This private equity company, as well as Onward Healthcare  will now have access to all the data within Medefis including bill rates, pay rates, job order and candidate data.

What does this really mean? Keeping the new ownership ties between Medefis and Onward Healthcare quiet was probably wise. Most likely if they're smart, Medefis will continue to bill themselves as being vendor neutral. However, the acquisition will also provide a huge benefit to Onward Healthcare in terms of being promoted to hospitals, as well as increased access to job requisitions and candidate profiles.

This isn't necessarily bad for the hospitals, depending on how much distance exists between them and Onward Healthcare and as long as they continue to get their needs met by quality, cost effective staff. The biggest losers are the staffing agencies that entered into a relationship with Medefis under the guise of vendor neutrality. Staffing agencies typically participate with vendor neutral companies more than working through a MSP delivered by one of their competitiors because they have equal chance at filling requisitions, and the company won't be attempting to recruit their staff with the data they have in the system. What happens when this all changes?

I guess we're about to find out.

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10 thoughts on “Vendor Neutral Healthcare VMS Not So Neutral Anymore

  1. I was a V.P. for Onward and know they will take every opportunity to own every job posted on Medefis. If you are in the healthcare staffing business I suggest you start selling against Medefis immediately. A couple points I would bring up is that they will drive pricing up to the hospitals to promote Onward Nurses who may have received or have been accustomed to higher pay. The second point is that they have poor leadership on the account services side and they will push under qualified staff and push the rules for each posting to place an Onward nurse.
    By the way; this is not the first effort to buy Medefis. They have been after them for at least three years So Kevin must have talked with Scott and the crew at Welsh to buy them this time around to avoid the “vendor neutral” selling points.

  2. WOW!! I’m A VP for a national travel and perdiem firm. We deal with Medefis on a daily basis. Thanks for the insight Ken!

  3. Hi. As a therapist, I can say that the bigger problem is that the poor internal controls and supports result in poor skilled therapists at facilities. This is much worse then paying high prices. Of course, getting poor staff and high prices is not so great…
    Jason can contact me.

  4. I work with Medefis on a daily basis and several other Vendor Managers. Their account managers are very good at what they do, and much better than the competition. And when it comes to vendor neutrality we have not experienced anything to have us feel or believe in any way our traveling and per diem staff are being passed over based on company name. I think the decision always comes down to the strengh of the the candidate you are presenting. Also if you take a look Onward is also turning positions they cannot fill over to the Medefis job board…and i plan to bid on those jobs.
    How would they have access to more candidates…are you proposing that Medefis shares profiles with OH? Highly unlikely!!

  5. Hi Derek,
    Thanks for the comment. Great endorsement for Medefis. It’s nice to hear the other side of the coin too.
    I certainly wasn’t trying to make any negative statements on the services Medefis provides. I was just bringing to light the change in their ownership structure and the fact that they are now owned by a company that will be competing with many of their customers.
    No judgments, just facts.

  6. Medefis is a company that I would personally NEVER do business with and yes their information is shared with Onward Healthcare. The President of Medefis worked for Onward for many years…unethical group of account managers anyway.

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