Symbio Solutions Files for Bankruptcy

Bankrupt-monopoly Late last year I blogged about the struggle of several healthcare VMS companies in the industry. Symbio Solutions was no exception. As they began having trouble paying their staffing agencies, organizations such as the National Association of Travel Healthcare Organizations (NATHO) started calling them out.

It looks as though the situation has not improved for them and this week, Symbio Solutions filed bankruptcy. Symbio Solutions was started in 2003 and was a viable competitor, selling workforce management solutions, in the healthcare staffing industry for several years.

And then there was 1…

I do my best to remain objective and not overly promote ShiftWise on this blog but I think it's relevant and fair to point out that, in terms of vendor neutral healthcare VMS systems, ShiftWise appears to be the only company left in the industry. It will be an interesting year.

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18 thoughts on “Symbio Solutions Files for Bankruptcy

  1. Hey Jason:
    Hope you are well….saw the article on Symbio. They certainly had some false starts around the DC Metro area.
    Don’t forget about your friends at B4Health as an end to end workforce scheduling/staffing automation tool and VMS…still going strong!
    Mike Wheeden

  2. Hi Mike,
    I always saw you guys as more of an internal staff scheduling system. If this is incorrect and in fact you also provide VMS to hospitals please let me know so I can be sure to be more accurate in the future.

  3. Jason
    Late to respond and relatively new joiner of your blog..
    .. But I have to throw in another significant player in the vendor neutral space, my company, COMFORCE.
    Comforce has over $2Billion in spend and almost 20 years in VMS – pioneers. Yes, much of the $2 Billion is commercial but our Healthcare VMS solution has been around 8+ years and has a significant list of clients and growing alliances.
    With that said, I respect all the significant VMS players. In the end, it comes down to the clients desire for neutrality, full service options, technology, and the relationship.
    Keep blogging, this site is great.

  4. Hey Candace!
    Thanks for the comment. Comforce is a big player in this space. However, I don’t list them as being vendor neutral because they aren’t. Many staffing agencies promote a ‘vendor neutral’ offering. However, it’s just marketing.
    If a company is owned by a staffing agency or advocates for a staffing agency over other agencies it is not vendor neutral. Even if the company is truly allowing the orders to be distributed equally they simply cannot be counted as vendor neutral because 1) they still supply staff and make a significant portion of their revenue from doing so 2) They have access to the data of their competitors and own that data since it’s flowing through their system.
    Companies such as Comforce (and other agencies) started spinning themselves as being vendor neutral when the term and acceptance of the vendor neutral model started gaining traction. I think it was unnecessary, as it didn’t help them differentiate their model and better promote their benefits. Now that vendor neutrality doesn’t seem to matter so much, it would be nice to see them simply promoting the benefits of their model, as opposed to trying to jump on to the popularity of another.

  5. Jason,
    I just saw your post. I have to respectfully disagree with you as a person who sits in the company.
    Comforce is absolutely vendor neutral. Suppliers and clients would be a testament to this. In the last few years, we have acquired several clients by large MSPs bringing us to their client because the client would only consider a vendor neutral partner. In Comforce’s case, vendor neutrality is a reality that they’ve practiced for 15 years.
    If Comforce is staffing a Comforce VMS account, it is usually because the staffing group has a long standing relationship prior to the VMS program. Case in point, of all the VMS spend Comforce manages, Comforce staffs less than 5%.
    Yes, Comforce has several business units but they act independently as it relates their VMS business.

  6. I guess it just depends on how you define “vendor neutral.” From my perspective, a company can only be vendor neutral if they are not a staffing agency. However, I know a lot of staffing agencies disagree with the definition.
    But really, it’s all about the clients perspective. Many hospitals I worked with over the past 10 years agreed that vendor neutrality only existed from 3rd party, non-staffing agency companies. However, some completely accepted staffing agencies as being vendor neutral.
    If the client feels a company such as Comforce is vendor neutral then that’s all that matters.

  7. I worked at a hospital that had comforce. We have had nothing but problems with Comforce. Their lack of knowledge and customer care is sad. They used to be a good VMS but they are falling apart and do NOT provide a good service

  8. I would never reccomend this comany to anyone – they have taken over my hospital and have made a major mess of the staffing and billing. They were kicked out here once and we let them back (why??) and the service is terrible. It is sad because I heard good things about them in the past few years but the onsite person told me that most of their good people left because of the boss and her innapropriate behavior, so things are not good

  9. These comments are all so interesting. I felt compelled to post a comment because one of my candidates has recently been contacted by a recruiter from a company called RightSourcing?? Does this have affilation to Comforce? I think so! Vendor Neutral?? I don’t think so! Any feedback??? Sounds like an MSP

  10. I staff one of the Comforce hospitals outside of California and I have a good working relationship with the comforce manager’s. They have confirmed that there is confusion if they are vendor neutral or not. Several of my recruiters have been told by there candidates that there are Comforce recruiters calling them for travel positions. I’m thankful
    for blogs like this since this is a small industry and the major players should conduct honest business.

  11. Dear Candace-
    Is this what you mean by vendor neutral- this is a position on career builder that clearly states we are not vendor neutral- I work for the company and I am told to say we are vendor neutral- but as stated above in several comments we are not.
    On-Site Program Manager (RIGHTSOURCING VMS/MSP)
    Comforce is a premier provider of staffing, consulting and outsourcing solutions focused on the needs of the growing Vendor Managed Programs, Nurse……

  12. I had a family member that worked for Comforce for five plus years and was treated horrible by Management. Her employees love her but she could not control the actions and behaviors of the Upper Management Team. Sad, because she loved the company and believed they could be great for the health care system. No action was taken from numerous complaints that were registered to the legal department and Human Resources, both locally and at the Home Office. My family member almost had a nervous break-down! I can only guess that is why they have failed in this particular Southern California area. Maybe they learned their lesson to rely on people who work hard, dedicate themselves to make the company the best and to give the best service to hospitals. I hope so for any of the hardworking people they have left.

  13. I am a vendor that works with Comforce at multiple sites. I can guarantee they are not vendor neutral as they claim. In fact, my candidates have been called about jobs by Comforce recruiters before the jobs were even available for us to view and work on. After learning about their policy through word of mouth, we found out they give their own recruiters a 24 hour “heads up” on all new orders. With that information, we choose to not even staff at facilities they work at. It’s a very small industry and people do talk which is how I’ve found out a lot of very disturbing information about Comforce, not just on the vendor neutral aspect but about their management as well. Many of the hospitals I staff at refuse to ever consider using Comforce because they have heard the horror stories. Eventually, their poor business ethics will catch up to them…until then I will never submit another of of my candidates!

  14. I use to work at Comforce a few years ago and I can attest that all of these comments are true. They are not vendor neutral. They told us to lie to our Vendors and on the few occasions I forgot to give the Comforce recruiters a heads up I was yelled at for not “following the policy”. After a few years of constant poor management and being treated horribly, I finally left. It was the best decision I ever made. I don’t recommend this company to ANY health-care facility nor do I recommend anyone to work for this company.

  15. Comforce in Irvine is apparently undergoing something. Calls are not being returned, etc. Where is everyone? There service to vendors has gone downhill continually.

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