Vendor Interactions Policy

Purpose:

To ensure proper decorum and legally compliant behavior of vendor sales representatives within Lahey Hospital & Medical Center and to ensure that vendor training programs comply with all applicable laws and Lahey Hospital & Medical Center policies.

General Statement:

It is essential that all persons and organizations that do business or may want to do business with Lahey Hospital & Medical Center, including pharmaceutical, medical device, and diagnostic equipment manufacturers, (“Vendors”) remain aware that the primary objective of Lahey Hospital & Medical Center is patient care. Vendors and Vendor sales representatives will be permitted in Lahey Hospital & Medical Center as long as they do not interfere with patient care. Vendors and Vendor sales representatives are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner at all times, and to comply with all Lahey Hospital & Medical Center policies including those relating to patient confidentiality, smoking, parking, and marketing and sales conduct. In addition to Lahey Hospital & Medical Center’s general policies, Vendors and Vendor sales representatives are required to comply with the Vendor-specific policies set forth below.

VIOLATIONS OF ANY OF THE FOLLOWING POLICIES WILL RESULT IN NOTIFICATION TO THE VENDOR’S CORPORATE OFFICE AND, DEPENDING UPON THE SEVERITY OF THE VIOLATION, PERMANENT SUSPENSION OF THE VENDOR OR REPRESENTATIVE FROM INTERACTING OR DOING BUSINESS WITH LAHEY HOSPITAL & MEDICAL CENTER. 

Vendor Specific Policies:

I. Prohibition on Personal Gifts and Meals

A. Vendors and Vendor sales representatives are prohibited from providing Personal Gifts (as defined below) to Lahey Hospital & Medical Center Colleagues (as defined in the Health Care Compliance Plan). This prohibition on providing Personal Gifts to Lahey Hospital & Medical Center Colleagues applies both at Lahey Hospital & Medical Center facilities and at offsite locations, including at all in-service educational programs, meetings, and detail work.

B. Except as set forth in Section I.C, personal gifts (“Personal Gifts”) include the following items provided to Lahey Hospital & Medical Center Colleagues by Vendors or Vendor sales representatives:
    a. Entertainment or recreational items of any value (e.g., golf balls, sports bags, artwork, CD’s, tickets to a sporting event, etc.);
    b. Complimentary items (such as calendars, pens, coffee mugs, gift cards, etc.);
    c. Meals, food, and beverages, including funds for meals, food, or beverages;
    d. Grants, scholarships, consulting contracts, or educational or practice items provided in exchange for prescribing or using drugs or devices;
    e. Travel expense reimbursement, except for (i) legitimate reimbursement related to “Consulting Services” (as defined in the Consulting Policy) approved pursuant to the Consulting Policy and in compliance with the Travel Policy, or (ii) in conjunction with training on a medical device as set forth in Section VII.C; and
    f. Any other items or payments (including cash, cash equivalents, and “in kind” payments).

C. The following items are not considered Personal Gifts:
    a. Meals, food, and beverages provided in connection with programs accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education    (“ACCME”) and in compliance with ACCME guidelines;
    b. Compensation for Consulting Services as permitted in the Consulting Policy;
    c. Educational Items (as defined below); and
    d. Evaluation and Demonstration Products (as defined below).

II. Educational Items

A. Educational items (“Educational Items”) include the following:
    a. Peer reviewed academic, scientific or clinical information;
    b. Product reimbursement information (including identifying appropriate coverage, coding, or billing of products) in support of accurate and responsible billing to payors if the information is not offered to induce purchase, lease, or use of the products;
    c. Medical or scientific books that do not bear company logos; and
    d. Anatomical models and illustrations that do not bear company logos.

B. Vendors and Vendor sales representatives may provide Educational Items to Lahey Clinic Colleagues only if the Educational Items (i) are provided to and distributed through a Lahey Hospital & Medical Center department, (ii) do not have a combined value of more than $100, (iii) are not offered on more than an occasional basis, and (iv) do not have value to healthcare professionals outside of their professional responsibilities.
 

III. Evaluation and Demonstration Products

A. Vendors and Vendor sales representatives may provide reasonable quantities of evaluation and demonstration products (“Evaluation and Demonstration Products”) to Lahey Hospital & Medical Center Colleagues to allow the Colleagues to assess the appropriate use and functionality of the products and determine whether or not to use or recommend the products in the future, subject to the restrictions below.

B. Evaluation and Demonstration Products include single use products and multiple use products. Vendors and Vendor sales representatives may provide single use products to Lahey Hospital & Medical Center Colleagues only if the representatives provide a quantity no greater than reasonably necessary for adequate evaluation. Vendors and Vendor sales representatives may provide multiple use products to Lahey Hospital & Medical Center Colleagues only if (i) the products are provided for no more than a reasonable period of time to allow for adequate evaluation, but in no event longer than 90 days; (ii) the terms of the evaluation are set forth in writing in advance; and (iii) the Vendor retains title to the products during the evaluation period.
 

IV. Medication Samples/Additions to Formulary

A. This Section on “Medication Samples/Additions to Formulary” should be read in conjunction with the Clinical and Administrative Policy "Pharmacy: Sample Medications."

B. All approved medication samples must be logged in at the main pharmacy of the Lahey Hospital & Medical Center facility on the same day of delivery.

C. Pharmaceutical representatives wishing to have their product added to the formulary must first make an appointment with Director of Pharmacy Services to present all pertinent information about the product.

D. Only staff physicians may request additions to the formulary, which must be done by using a "Formulary Request" form, see Formulary Policy.
 

V. Vendor Sales Representative Visits to Lahey Clinic

A. Registration
a. At the time of their initial visit to Lahey Clinic, all Vendor sales representatives must first register with the pharmacy administrative assistant in the main pharmacy of the Lahey Clinic facility.
b. Each Vendor sales representative must sign a registration form indicating that he/she has read and understood the policies governing the conduct of Vendor sales representatives.

B. Sign-in
a. Each time a Vendor sales representative visits Lahey Hospital & Medical Center he/she must proceed directly to the Security Department, sign in and procure a temporary visit badge with the date of that visit. The visitor badge must be visible at all times while the Vendor sales representative is on the premises.

C. Authorized Visits
a. All visits by Vendor sales representatives to Lahey Hospital & Medical Center personnel must be made on an appointment only basis. Sales representatives must call the person (or administrative assistant) they wish to visit and arrange an appointment time. Appointments should be scheduled before a Vendor sales representative's visit to Lahey Hospital & Medical Center, but if necessary, may be made while on the premises.

D. Access to Patient Care Areas
a. Vendor sales representatives are prohibited from entering patient care areas, except that Vendor sales representatives may access patient care areas when (1) access is required for training on new equipment or devices already purchased, or (2) access is required in operating rooms to assist surgeons or to help develop competency with equipment. Vendor sales representatives may not enter patient care areas unless there is disclosure to, and consent by, the patient.

E. Access to Trainees
a. Vendor sales representatives may interact with trainees, including but not limited to residents, interns and fellows, only for educational purposes and under the supervision of Lahey faculty.

F. Communications
a. Vendor sales representatives shall not use the paging system or be paged by Telecommunications.
 

VI. Displays at Lahey Clinic

A. Vendors and Vendor sales representatives are prohibited from setting up displays in public areas of Lahey Hospital & Medical Center except at public education seminars approved by the Lahey Hospital & Medical Center Department of Education.
 

VII. Vendor Training and Education Programs

A. Vendors may provide training and education on their products and medical technologies to Lahey Hospital & Medical Center Colleagues provided that (1) the programs are conducted in settings that are conducive to the effective transmission of information, (2) programs providing “hands on” training are held at appropriate facilities, and (3) training staff have the proper qualifications and expertise.

B. Vendors may not provide Personal Gifts (such as meals or refreshments) to Lahey Hospital & Medical Center Colleagues attending training and education programs.

C. Vendors may not pay or reimburse Lahey Hospital & Medical Center Colleagues for the expenses of attending the program, except that Vendors may pay or reimburse Lahey Hospital & Medical Center Colleagues for the reasonable expenses (including travel and lodging) for technical training on the use of a medical device if the commitment to provide the expenses, and amounts or categories of reasonable expenses to be paid, are described in a written agreement between Lahey Hospital & Medical Center and the Vendor for the purchase of the medical device.

Contact: Corporate Compliance Officer
Legal Services
Cross-References: Consulting Policy
Conflict of Interest Policy
Medication Management: Sample Medications
Travel Policy
References: Joint Commission Standards
Origination date: 1991
Reviewed/Revised: 1994, 1996, 1999, 2002, 2005, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012
Approved by: Corporate Compliance Committee
Audit/Compliance Committee of the Board of Trustees