Michael Mallet

Supply Chain Director, Bozeman Health

Supernova Award Category: 
Digital Safety, Governance, and Privacy
The Organization: 

Gallatin County is home to ~115,000 people who, along with visitors, seek and receive top-notch medical care at a Bozeman Health care site in Southwest Montana. Our nonprofit locally governed health system has been committed to providing caring professional medical services for more than a century.

What began as a 20-bed hospital with 1 doctor is now an integrated health care delivery system with two hospitals, two neighborhood care centers, more than 40 provider clinics, and b2 Care—our retail health division with b2 VirtualCare, b2 MicroCare, and b2 UrgentCare.

Across the health system, and as Gallatin County’s largest private employer, we have 133 licensed beds, with more than 2,400 employees, 762 nurses, 144 employed physicians, and 94 advanced practice clinicians.

The Problem: 

As Healthcare providers, we are required to comply with the Office of Inspector General (OIG) exclusion list, which prohibits us from employing or contracting individuals or entities on the list who have been convicted of specific felonies or misdemeanors. Failing to adhere to this requirement can result in significant financial costs.

Due to the monthly generation of the OIG exclusion list, we must conduct regular monthly exclusion reconciliations for all employees, contractors, vendors, and ordering processes to ensure compliance. This task presents challenges. The OIG exclusion list consists of 1 GB of data that does not align consistently with the entries in our ERP database. For example, an entity named ‘Liberty Industries’ in the OIG exclusion list could be entered as ‘L Industries LLC’ in ERP database. Attempting to verify the data using regular expression checks is also problematic, as it may either yield incomplete results or an overwhelming number of matches. Consequently, the verification process requires human intervention to manually cross-check thousands of rows of data.

Considering that Bozeman Health operates in one of the fastest-growing cities in the US, our supplier list continues to expand alongside the growth of our services. Given the labor-intensive, error-prone, and time-consuming nature of monthly OIG vendor verification, we recognized the need to optimize our resources to support our growth and prioritize patient care.

The Solution: 

Because keeping up vendor verification is challenging and tedious, we implemented an AI-driven solution called Infor OIG Vendor Check to automate the reconciliation of our vendor database with the OIG Exclusion List. We now have a more streamlined and accurate process to verify vendors so that we achieve 100% adherence during annual audits.   

On a monthly basis, we simply download the OIG Exclusion file and upload it to our Infor Compliance Portal.  Infor Coleman AI works in the background using a similarity index to scan the OIG Exclusion data to then generate a report or list of our vendors who are potentially in that exclusion list.  We take this list of vendors and then validate it further with the OIG Exclusion list. This solution dramatically reduces the verification time since we now only must verify a few flagged vendors in our database.   A process that takes several hours now just takes a few minutes and without errors. 

The Results: 

Due to our location in one of the fastest-growing cities in the US, Bozeman Health is experiencing rapid growth, which necessitates maximizing our resources. As a result, some of our processes related to the OIG Exclusion list have been left incomplete due to the immense workload associated with manually checking all individuals and entities on the list every month. Unfortunately, this resulted in our inability to ensure OIG compliance during our annual audit check. 

Recognizing the need for a more automated approach, we sought to minimize the risk of engaging with vendors involved in fraudulent activities and ensure that we only source goods and services from screened vendors. The implementation of Infor OIG Vendor Check has effectively mitigated this risk while saving valuable resources that can now be directed toward providing enhanced patient care. Additionally, we can now confidently check off the OIG Exclusion list compliance during our annual audit checks, reducing the overall cost of compliance. Video Case Study 

  • 100% OIG Vendor compliant 
  • Save hours of work with OIG Vendor Check completed in under 5 minutes 
  • 5 days to value realization 
The Technology: 

Infor CloudSuite Healthcare provides the Infor OS Platform to extend ERP capabilities to better streamline processes and automate them.  Data Lake, AI/ML, Analytics, Reporting, Portal and more are all integrated services that come with Infor OS. The OIG Exclusion data is uploaded into the Infor Data Lake, and then Infor Coleman AI flags vendors based on the similarity index.  The results are presented to us through Infor Portal which is available on demand to conduct the verification.

Disruptive Factor: 

In the healthcare industry, the demand for accomplishing more with limited resources is a constant challenge. This challenge is further amplified by the ever-expanding and evolving regulations in healthcare. As an organization, we must allocate additional resources to ensure compliance and maintain a safe environment. Utilizing technology we already own with Infor OS to automate labor-intensive regulatory processes is a transformative development, as it allows us to reallocate those resources and prioritize patient care. This shift is critical because it directly translates to saving lives, which is the ultimate goal of healthcare. 

Shining Moment: 

Amidst the multitude of responsibilities, I manage in my job role, I take pride in my commitment to staying abreast of new technological advancements that can enhance the value we derive from our Infor ERP investment. When I learned about the implementation of OIG Vendor Check at another healthcare provider, I was eager to have the same solution implemented at Bozeman Health. To my delight, the implementation of the solution was completed within an impressive timeframe of just 5 days. 

About Bozeman Health

Bozeman Health is an integrated healthcare delivery system serving an eight-county region in Southwest Montana. As a nonprofit organization, governed by a volunteer community board of directors, we are the largest private employer in Gallatin County, with more than 2,400 employees, including 240 medical providers representing 50 clinical specialties.