The EPLS to SAM.gov Transition and What It Means for Healthcare Providers
What is the Excluded Parties List System (EPLS)?
The Excluded Parties List System (EPLS) is a list of people, vendors, and suppliers prohibited from receiving federal assistance, contracts, or subcontracts from the U.S. government. The EPLS is maintained by the General Services Administration (GSA), a federal agency.
Healthcare entities who hire or contract with a federal agency must check the agency against the EPLS. The EPLS is also used by some law and regulation agencies, financial institutions, and government offices.
History of the EPLS
Originally launched in January 2007, EPLS listed five categories of individuals and businesses.
- Individuals excluded under a federal agency’s codification of the Common Rules on Nonprocurement Suspension and Debarment or deemed ineligible from receiving federal assistance and/or benefits.
- Individuals debarred, suspended, proposed for debarment, or deemed ineligible from participating in federal procurement programs.
- Individuals barred or suspended from acting as a surety (an underwriter who guarantees funds for a bid) for bid and bond activity in procurement programs.
- Individuals prohibited from entering the United States.
- Individuals subject to sanctions under 31 CFR Parts 500-599 (foreign assets control) and any relevant subparts.
SAM.gov: The EPLS Replacement
A 2009 report on the EPLS discovered that some excluded agencies found weaknesses in the EPLS system and used them to continue to receive contracts. This report, bolstered by a government effort to reform acquisition processes beginning in 1993, led to the launch of System for Award Management in 2012. SAM.gov consolidated several government contracting systems, including EPLS, Fedreg (Federal Agency Registration), CCR (Central Contractor Registration), and ORCA (Online Representations and Certifications Application). The EPLS now resides within SAM.gov. Although there are some changes to codes within the system, the information in the database is the same.
Before entering a contract, healthcare entities should verify the vendor against SAM.gov. If you hire an excluded practitioner to provide services, your healthcare entity will not be compensated because excluded parties are prohibited from receiving federal compensation. The government may also administer additional penalties for contracting with an excluded party.
Even if you’re already checking vendors against the OIG-administered List of Excluded Individuals and Entities (LEIE), you should also check SAM.gov regularly for new information about your vendors. The LEIE only contains exclusionary actions taken by OIG, whereas SAM.gov contains information about other actions taken by various other federal agencies that may not appear on the LEIE. These records include:
- Excluded Parties List System (EPLS)
- Central Contractor Registry (CCR)
- Federal Agency Registration (Fedreg)
- Online Representations and Certifications Application (ORCA)
How do I check SAM.gov?
The first step is to register for SAM.gov. Once you’ve created a free SAM.gov user account, you must register your entity with the government (required for government businesses and contracts). You can check your registration status on the website using the “check registration status” link.
After you’re registered, you can search for records on the database. SAM.gov’s User Guide is available to you if you have questions. Best industry practice is to search for your vendors on SAM.gov (as well as other databases) monthly to protect your healthcare entity and your patients.
FACIS ® by Verisys simplifies the process of verifying provider and vendor credentials not only against the SAM.gov database but also against thousands of other primary sources with real-time results for every transaction. Learn more from Verisys about how you can ensure your providers’ credentials meet all government and regulatory standards.
|Written by Juliette Willard
Healthcare Communications Specialist
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