Vendor Qualification Process

Vendor-neutral Policy

PaperFree Florida has adopted a “vendor-neutral” policy, which means that we offer unbiased advice on the systems and service bundles best suited to enable our physician and other clinician members to become meaningful users of EHRs. This also means that we do not function as a reseller or vendor of EHR products.

Our role in the process is to serve as a trusted friend while guiding our members through the implementation process. PaperFree Florida acts as a go-between, supporting practices in holding vendors accountable for adhering to service agreement obligations.

Qualification Process

PaperFree Florida has adopted a Vendor Qualification Process that does not “prefer” or value relationships with any one vendor over another. We realize that “one size does not fit all,” and that the needs of our providers will vary by practice size, specialty, patient volume and other factors. Thus, we believe it is important to review as many different EHR options as possible in order to make individually-tailored recommendations to practices based on their specific needs.

Consequently, when our vendor selection process began in early October 2010, we posted a Request for Information Questionnaire (RFIQ) on our website. Respondents were required to complete the RFIQ in its entirety, and to provide “scripted” software demonstrations of EHR product(s), or that vendor’s RFIQ response was deemed incomplete and was not to be considered.

Requirements: The RFIQ requires all vendor respondents to:

  • Demonstrate their EHR software can be configured to meet all requirements for Stage 1 of the Meaningful Use Regulation issued by the Center for Medicaid Services (CMS)
  • Detail their pricing models and overall valuation for hardware and services
  • Provide specific vendor information such as detailed EHR product(s) description(s); number of years in operation; total number of software installations; number of installations by practice size and specialty; percentage of growth in number of EHR installations for the past 3 years; average software cost for a range of practice sizes; a clear timetable for pre-implementation activities (prior to go-live), and for actual implementation; and a description of the vendor’s technical software/hardware support plan to ensure meaningful use compliance.

PaperFree Florida staff independently verified responses to the RFIQ, and software certifications have been checked against the information listed on the CMS website.

Timeline: The first cycle of our Vendor Qualification Process concluded on December 31, 2010. While failure to complete the RFIQ is grounds for disqualification from consideration, each vendor response found to be deficient was given an opportunity to correct errors or omissions within a reasonable time. Once all paperwork was certified as complete and accurate, EHR software demonstrations were made to PaperFree Florida’s field staff, and successful applicants were subsequently designated as “Qualified Vendors,” and thus eligible for inclusion into the pool of vendors field staff may recommend to meet the EHR needs of our membership.

Because we believe it necessary for field staff to be informed about all available certified EHR options on the market in order to respond comprehensively and accurately to our members’ questions, our Vendor Qualification Process continued for two additional cycles in 2011. The schedule for RFIQ submissions is below:

RFIQ Submission Period

Open Date

Close Date

Final Review/
Results Published to Web

Cycle I

10/01/2010

12/31/2010

02/28/2011

Cycle II

03/01/2011

04/30/2011

05/31/2011

Cycle III

06/01/2011

07/31/2011

08/31/2011