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VNAA - Visiting Nurse Associations of America

VNAA MVP - Frequently Asked Questions

Savings plan designed for VNAA members to offer choice, solutions, and most importantly, significant savings on supplies, services and equipment.

What is a GPO?

A group purchasing organization (or GPO) is an entity created to leverage the purchasing power of a group of businesses (members) to obtain discounts from vendors based on the collective buying power of the GPO members.

What is the VNAA Member Value Program (VNAA MVP)?

VNAA MVP is the result of an Affiliation Agreement between VNAA and MedAssets. VNAA MVP is a Group Purchasing Organization designed for nonprofit providers of home healthcare and hospice services that are also members of the Visiting Nurse Associations of America so that they can save money on the supplies they purchase. VNAA MVP offers VNAA members choice, solutions, and most importantly, significant savings when it comes to purchasing medical, hospice, infusion, and office supplies, pharmacy and food services, and capital equipment.

What is MedAssets?

MedAssets is a GPO. MedAssets' comprehensive financial performance solutions include industry-leading solutions for healthcare supply chain management and healthcare revenue cycle management. Their solutions are proven to improve a healthcare provider's operating margins and cash flow, delivering the potential to increase net patient revenue by 1-3 percent and decrease supply chain expenses by 3-10 percent.  MedAssets helps healthcare providers find cash from existing operations and improve margins so they can continue to serve the community. VNAA has signed an Affiliation Agreement with MedAssets so that VNAA members can take advantage of these savings.

How can VNAA MVP get such low prices?

Through a contract with a vendor, VNAA MVP, in affiliation with MedAssets, promises to bring a certain number of buyers to that vendor. The vendor then offers a discount on their products in exchange for those buyers.

How much does it cost to participate in VNAA MVP?

Nothing!! Participating in VNAA MVP does not cost VNAA members a dime. Your VNAA member dues are your ticket to participate in the VNAA MVP.

What products and services are available through VNAA MVP?

VNAA members have access to thousands of different supplies and services in the following areas:

  • Medical Supplies and Services
  • Food Services
  • Pharmacy Services
  • Housekeeping Supplies, Services and Equipment
  • Capital Equipment
  • Hospice Supplies and Services
  • Infusion Supplies and Services
  • And much more

For a full list showing each contract, contact Chuck Koch at [email protected]. You may also go to CDQuick and use the "Search" function by either vendor, item name or item number.

How much money can I save using VNAA MVP?

It all depends on the level at which your agency participates. Pricing is based on tiers. By completing a basic Letter of Participation, you are eligible for base, or access pricing (also called Tier 1.) Should you choose to commit to buying more from any particular vendor, the pricing will get lower and your savings will increase. Pricing tiers are based on either the dollar amount spent, or the percentage of supplies you buy through that contract.

Prove to me that this will save my agency money!

We would love to. After your agency has completed the General Portfolio Participation Agreement (GPPA) simply send us at least two months' worth of supply ordering data and we can do a cost study for your agency. Due to issues surrounding price disclosure, we must have this document signed in order to share the pricing with you. Please be aware that this process takes about two weeks. Prior to sending this information, please contact VNAA's Corporate Relations Manager Chuck Koch at [email protected]

Do I have to commit to anything to realize savings from VNAA MVP?

It depends on your agency's level of participation. Pricing is based on tiers. By completing a basic Letter of Participation, you are eligible for base, or access pricing (also called Tier 1) and you do not have to commit to anything. Should you choose to commit to buying more from any particular vendor, the pricing will get lower and your savings will increase. Pricing tiers are based on either the dollar amount spent, or the percentage of supplies you buy through that contract.

Can I participate in any other GPO as well?

Yes. Participating in VNAA MVP does not preclude any VNAA member from participating in any other GPOs. However, you should check with your current distributor(s) to make sure that they have the ability to honor more than one GPO contract per customer.

What if I'm already a MedAssets member, can I switch to VNAA MVP?

It depends on the entity you are associated with that has signed the current MedAssets Affiliation Agreement. If you are part of a hospital system or other large provider network, chances are that you are already receiving the savings VNAA MVP offers. It is best to discuss the answer to this question on a case-by-case basis with VNAA staff. Contact Chuck Koch at [email protected] or 202-384-1457.

When can I start participating in VNAA MVP?

You can enroll to participate in VNAA MVP at any time.

How do I start participating in VNAA MVP?

The first step is to complete the General Portfolio Participation Agreement (GPPA). You should have received this form in the original information packet sent to VNAA member agencies. If you have not received the GPPA, you may download and complete the appropriate forms available at www.VNAA.org or contact Chuck Koch [email protected]. Once you have completed the GPPA and submitted it for approval to VNAA staff then your agency should be ready to go on either the 1st or the 15th of the next month depending on when your agency's documentation is received. We advise you to schedule this time into your transition plan.

What forms do I need to fill out to get started with VNAA MVP?

You will need to fill out the following forms:

  • General Portfolio Participation Agreement (GPPA)
  • Group Designation Form (if you are going to use the Pharmacy Program)

What is a General Portfolio Participation Agreement (GPPA)?

The GPPA is a contract that each VNAA member will need to sign in order to participate in VNAA MVP. It will also allow VNAA staff to share explicit pricing and cost savings data with your agency. By signing the GPPA the VNAA member is becoming a member of MedAssets. Signing the GPPA does not commit VNAA members to anything other than the terms of the agreement. This is not an exclusive contract, and you are not required to purchase anything under this contract.

Why do I have to sign this General Portfolio Participation Agreement (GPPA)?

It will not be possible for you to participate in VNAA MVP unless you sign the GPPA. Furthermore, because of disclosure issues, without a signed GPPA, you will not be able to see any prices available through the program. The main purpose of the GPPA is to make your agency a MedAssets participating Member and it lets MedAssets inform vendors that your agency is eligible for savings. Signing the GPPA requires no purchase commitment from you.
What is a Facility Number?

Your Facility Number is a unique identifier that MedAssets will use to ensure that your agency is connected with all of the savings VNAA MVP offers. The Facility Number will be assigned to you upon completion and acceptance of your General Portfolio Participation Agreement. It is this Facility Number that you will need to share with your distributor so that they can connect you with savings.

What is a Letter of Participation (LOP)?

A Letter of Participation is the document that will allow VNAA members to take advantage of the savings available through VNAA MVP. The General Portfolio Participation Agreement links VNAA members and MedAssets while the LOPlinks VNAA members with some, but not all, MedAssets vendors. Signing this Letter of Participation requires no purchase commitment from you. You can get help with LOPs through either your distributor or by contacting VNAA staff.

Why do I have to sign this Letter of Participation (LOP)?

It will not be possible for your agency to participate in VNAA MVP unless you sign the letter. The main purpose of the letter is to inform vendors that your agency is now participating in VNAA MVP and is therefore eligible for the savings provided by VNAA MVP. Signing this Letter of Participation requires no purchase commitment from you.

What is a Commitment Form, or Letter of Commitment (LOC)?

The Letter of Commitment form is a signed agreement between a vendor with whom MedAssets has a contract (e.g. Smith & Nephew or Covidien), and you, the Member. Without this letter, you will not be able to access greater savings above "Access" pricing, which is quite good. Typically such a commitment will require committing to either a dollar amount, or more likely, a commitment to purchasing a certain percentage of that type of supply. Logically, the more you commit to purchasing, the better the price of that item will be. The LOCs are typically located on CDQuick under the description of each contract. It will most likely be easier for you to ask your distributor or local manufacturer's representative for assistance with LOCs. You can also contact VNAA staff for assistance with LOCs.

Why do I have to sign this Letter of Commitment (LOC)?

You do not have to sign any Letter of Commitment. Many vendors only require the Letter of Participation for you to receive base, or "Access", pricing which is quite good. However, by signing a Letter of Commitment with a vendor, you are opening your agency to greater savings on those items.

Can I opt-out of VNAA MVP?

Yes, you can. The agreements are automatically renewed at the 12-month anniversary unless termination notice is given no less than 90 days from the anniversary date. Since the agreement does not commit you to purchase anything, you will not be in violation of the agreement should you not utilize it.

Do I have to participate in VNAA MVP?

No, you do not. Participating in VNAA MVP is completely voluntary.

What is CDQuick?

CDQuick is the online supply catalog provided by MedAssets that provides you with the ability to access a searchable database with more than 1,000 contracts, 700,000 line items and 15 million price points. CDQuick offers instant viewing of contract details, line item pricing, and Terms and Conditions. It also shows the facility's price with or without distributor markups.

How do I get access to CDQuick?

When your General Portfolio Participation Agreement has been processed by MedAssets, you will receive an email with instructions on how to register to use CDQuick. It is a very straightforward process. NOTE: due to certain security reasons, you will have to register each computer that uses CDQuick separately (please contact Chuck Koch at [email protected] for help on this). As always, if you have problems or questions, VNAA staff and/or your MedAssets representative is here to help you. Also note that your CDQuick activation may not occur the same day you register online.

I don't see anywhere on CDQuick to place an order. Why not?

CDQuick is not a supply ordering platform. CDQuick is intended to provide participants an easy way to compare pricing and access the proper Letters of Commitment. There will be no change in the way you order supplies for your agency. Simply inform your distributor that you now participate with MedAssets and they will be sure to make that pricing available to your agency.

If I have problems with CDQuick, who do I call?

Call VNAA's Corporate Relations Manager Chuck Koch at 202-384-1457. He can walk you through using the system. If Chuck is not able to help he can direct you to your representative at MedAssets.

Will I be able to continue tracking my agency's spending?

            Yes, since you are most likely tracking this information through your current distributor, you will be able to continue to track spending for your facility as well as other owned facilities in this manner, nothing will change.

Can I keep using my favorite distributor/supplier/vendor?

The chances are very good that you will be able to continue doing business with your favorite vendors, distributors and suppliers. It does depend on whether or not your vendor does business with MedAssets. Since MedAssets has contracts with over 400 individual health care related vendors, most manufacturers that you presently do business with should be represented.

How do I know if my current distributor/supplier is a MedAssets vendor?

Since there are so many distributors/suppliers that contract with MedAssets, the list is too long to publish. If you would like to find out whether or not your distributor/supplier participates, please contact Chuck Koch at 202-384-1457 or
[email protected].

What if there is a vendor or distributor that I really like to use and they do not participate in this plan?

There is a strict procedure that prospective vendors must follow in order to become a MedAssets vendor. It is best that you refer them to MedAssets. The best way to do that is to send them to the "Suppliers" tab at www.medassets.com.

How are non-medical supplies distributed?

It depends on the vendor, but the vast majority of non-medical supplies, such as office supplies, are distributed directly from the vendor. For example, if your agency orders under the Staples contract, orders are fulfilled directly by Staples.

What is an Administrative Fee?

In exchange for promoting products and bringing more customers to them, vendors will pay a GPO a percentage of their sales. Federal Safe Harbor laws prohibit GPOs from earning fees in excess of three percent (3%). Should a contract reward a GPO with any higher administrative fees, that GPO must inform all of its members of such an arrangement. In the case of VNAA MVP, VNAA and MedAssets have agreed to split the administrative fees paid by the vendors. This is good news for VNAA members since that revenue can be used to reduce VNAA membership dues while allowing VNAA to provide members with a more robust savings program.

If I have problems with a vendor, who do I contact?

We recommend that you contact that vendor directly or work through that vendor's local representative. If the situation needs to be escalated, please contact VNAA's Corporate Relations Manager Chuck Koch at [email protected] or 202-384-1457.

If I need help figuring out prices, who do I call?

VNAA staff recommends that your first explore the pricing with your local distributor representative or local manufacturer's representative. You can also contact VNAA's Corporate Relations Manager Chuck Koch at [email protected] or 202-384-1457. He can help you with most of your questions and direct you to the best pricing.

Who is the main point of contact at VNAA that I can call with questions?

Call VNAA's Corporate Relations Manager Chuck Koch. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or 202-384-1457. Chuck can help you with:

  • Getting you set up to use VNAA MVP
  • Explaining the various documents needed to sign up and when you need to complete them
  • Compare prices for you
  • Help you navigate CDQuick
  • Resolve issues between you and vendors or MedAssets


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www.VNAA.org