Doing Business With The VA
VA hospitals are like any other medical center. They purchase supplies, maintenance services, and numerous products from independent vendors, and can be a consistent source of income for companies looking to do business with the VA.
If you are interested in selling your services or products to VA hospitals, a little inside knowledge can help you get your foot in the door.
What VA Hospitals Need
While the VA does receive some of its supplies directly from the federal government, the majority of the goods and services the VA uses come from independent vendors.
The VA will advertise for both goods and services, including items like:
- Medical and surgical supplies
- Supplies for the facilitys day-to-day operations
- Maintenance, construction and building repair contracts
- Prosthetic and orthopedic aids
- Medical gases like oxygen and nitrous oxide
If your company sells to private hospitals, chances are you can sell the same products to VA hospitals as well.
How to Sell to the VA
Unlike private businesses, where all you need to do to get someone to buy your products is make a convincing sales pitch, there are procedures in place at the VA to ensure that there is fair competition between all vendors looking to provide goods and services to the federal government.
Most purchases for the VA are made through a facilitys local Acquisition and Material Management office. These offices can give you the information you need to become a vendor for that VA hospital, and will let you know about any specialized procedures or practices for that office and its associated VA hospital.
In general, VA hospitals solicit bids for the services and products they need either through the Federal Business Opportunity website, solicitor mailing lists, or regular commercial advertising. If you are interested in selling to the VA, you will need to respond to the solicitation and become an interested vendor. Sometimes, your company will have to be authorized by the federal government to be a vendor for a particular product or service, because the details of the bid may require you to have access to classified information.
The VA bidding processes is designed to allow all types of vendors to have an equal chance at winning federal contracts. Once you become an authorized vendor for the VA, you will submit your proposed terms for fulfilling the VA contract. If your proposal is chosen, your company will win the contract and be responsible for meeting its terms.
In addition, veterans who own businesses often get preferential treatment when it comes to the federal government. If you are a veteran looking to sell products or services to the federal government, make sure to check out the Office of Acquisition and Logistics page on the VA website. Here you will find all of the resources you need to create a successful bid for a federal contract.