Community Rules & Guidelines

Community Rules & Guidelines

Created: January 28, 2020

Thank you for being part of our community, by participating in the SHOPP Blog found at www.shopp.org/blog and other domains and social media accounts (collectively, “Community”) linked to this Community Rules & Guidelines (“Guidelines”). To ensure the best possible experience for all of SHOPP’s members (including procurement directors, directors of purchasing, and our corporate partners (collectively, “users”), we have established the following:

1. Guidelines for participation in the Community.

  • By following these Guidelines, you can help ensure that the Community is a great medium that users can use to solicit the advice of your peers, benefit from their experience, and participate in an ongoing conversation. If you have questions about them, or have general questions about the Community, please contact members@shopp.org or 877-267-4677.
  • Please note: in order to preserve a climate that encourages both civil and fruitful dialogue, we reserve the right to suspend or terminate membership in this Community for anyone who violates the Guidelines. We also reserve the right to modify the Guidelines at any time. The most current version of the Guidelines will be available in the Community. If you have questions about them, or have general questions about the Community, please contact members@shopp.org or 877-267-4677.

By joining and using this Community, you agree that you have read, agree, and will follow the Guidelines.

2. Ground Rules for the Community

Please read the Guidelines carefully including the Legal Rules in Section 3, below, and Antitrust Policy in Section 6 of the Terms of Service:

  • All messages must add to the body of knowledge.
  • We reserve the right to reject any message for any reason.
  • Respect patient privacy. Do not post any patient’s personally identifiable information or protected health information.
  • Do not republish messages outside of the Community other than for your organization’s internal use.
  • Users may notify SHOPP about inappropriate postings by contacting members@shopp.org or 877-267-4677.
  • SHOPP reserves the right to terminate access to any users who does not abide by these Guidelines.
  • Don’t attack others. The discussions are meant to stimulate conversation, not conflict. Let others have their say, just as you may.
  • Post your message or documents only to the most appropriate discussion lists. Do not spam several lists with the same message.
  • Don’t post commercial messages or job openings on any discussion list or resource library entry.
  • Do not use the Community to collect other users’ contact information to solicit them regarding your organization’s products or services.
  • Respect patient privacy. Do not post any patient’s personally identifiable information or protected health information.
  • Do not reproduce postings to this community other than for your organization’s internal use.
  • Post your message or documents only to the most appropriate discussion lists. Do not spam several lists with the same message.

2. Community Etiquette

Include a signature tag on all messages. Include your name, affiliation, and location.

State concisely and clearly the topic of your comments in the subject line. This allows

users to respond more appropriately to your posting and makes it easier for users to

search the archives by subject.

  • Include only the relevant portions of the original message in your reply. Delete any header information and put your response before the original posting.
  • Send messages such as “thanks for the information” or “me too” to individuals, not the entire community. Do this by using the “Reply to Sender” link to the left of every message.
  • Warn users of lengthy messages either in the subject line or at the beginning of the message body with a line that says: “Long Message.”
  • Do not send administrative messages, such as “remove me,” to the entire community.
  • Instead, use the web interface to change your settings or to remove yourself. If you are changing your email address, you do not need to remove yourself and rejoin under your new email address. Simply update your email addressing by changing your settings.

3. General Legal Rules

The Community is offered to you, conditioned on your acceptance without modification of the Terms of Service (“Terms”) posted on SHOPP’s website herein, our Privacy Policy (“Privacy Policy”), and Community Guidelines. Your use of the Community constitutes your acknowledgment that you have read and agreed to the Terms, Privacy Policy, and the Community Guidelines.

4. Disclaimer:

  • The Community is provided as a service for SHOPP’s members and corporate partners. We do not review postings for completeness, truthfulness, accuracy, usefulness, reliability, or compliance with copyright laws, disparagement laws, advertising rules, or the FTC Testimonial and Endorsement Guidelines for social media.
  • SHOPP is not responsible for the opinions and information posted to the community by others. We disclaim all warranties with regard to information posted to the community; this disclaimer includes all implied warranties of merchantability and fitness. In no event shall SHOPP be liable for any special, indirect, or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data, or profits arising out of or in connection with the use, performance, or accuracy of any information posted on the community.
  • Do not post any defamatory, abusive, profane, threatening, offensive, or illegal materials. Do not post any information or other material protected by copyright without the permission of the copyright owner. By posting material, the user warrants and represents that he or she owns the copyright with respect to such material or has received permission from the copyright owner. In addition, the user grants SHOPP the nonexclusive right and license to display, copy, publish, distribute, transmit, print, and use such information or other material. 

5. Restrictions on Use.

You agree to use the Community services only as provided herein. You will not:

  • Transmit to the Community any content, or conduct yourself in any manner, that could be construed as defamatory, libelous, obscene, bigoted, hateful, racially offensive, vulgar, harassing, inflammatory, pornographic, violent, profane, threatening, unfair, inaccurate, deceptive or unlawful, or that could constitute or encourage conduct that would be considered a criminal offense or give rise to civil liability, whether under statute, common law or equitable principles, or otherwise violate any law.
  • Falsify or delete any author attributions, copyright notices or legal or other proper notices or proprietary designations or labels of the origin or source of software or other material contained in a file that is uploaded, or that is provided with Community materials or accessed through the Community.
  • Use the Community to conduct or forward surveys, contests, pyramid schemes or chain letters.
  • Use the Community to send any bulk commercial email or send any unsolicited email to any party.
  • Harvest or otherwise collect information about others in the Community, including e‐mail addresses.
  • Use the Community in any manner which could damage, disable, overburden, tamper with, impair, or disrupt the Community, or interfere with any other party’s use and enjoyment of the Community.
  • Use the Community in any manner that could create a risk to a person’s safety or health, creates a risk to public safety or health, compromises national security, or interferes with an investigation by law enforcement.
  • Obtain or attempt to obtain any materials or information through any means not intentionally made available or provided for through the Community.
  • Violate any code of conduct or other guidelines which may be applicable to the Community.
  • Violate any applicable laws or regulations, including any antitrust, libel, FTC rules and guidelines, intellectual property laws or regulations, or violate the Terms.
  • Upload files that contain viruses, corrupted files, or any other similar software or programs that may damage the operation of another’s computer or of the Community.

6. Antitrust Policy

To ensure that SHOPP and members comply with federal and state antitrust laws, users must comply with this antitrust policy as a condition of using this Website, its discussion boards, interactive features, content, and other services. Antitrust laws recognize that participation in the disclosure or exchange of certain competitively sensitive information among healthcare providers can further beneficial competition and patient welfare. However, the dissemination and exchange of certain information may raise anti-competitive concerns and also may have the effect of encouraging collusion or group boycotts resulting in anticompetitive effects and potentially in violations of the antitrust laws.  Users will exchange different types of information through the Website just as they do during general meetings of SHOPP, and thus they must avoid the disclosure or exchange of certain types of information through the community.

Generally, antitrust laws prohibit understandings or agreements among sellers and among purchasers that lessen competition.  Thus, users cannot reach understandings, make agreements, or otherwise concur on positions or activities that in any way might tend to raise, lower, or stabilize the prices they charge for their products or services or the prices they pay for products or services they purchase.  Most importantly, users should not disclose or exchange the prices they charge or pay for products or services through the community. Users can discuss historical pricing activities, so long as such information is general in nature and does not include data on current or future prices, fees being charged or paid, or other terms and conditions of sale that may lead to agreement on what to charge or pay or constitutes a reasonable, fair, or appropriate price or fee to charge or pay for any service or product. An unlawful price-fixing violation may be inferred from price-related discussions or exchanges of specific pricing information followed by parallel decisions on pricing by users—even in the absence of an oral or written agreement.

The antitrust laws prohibit most types of agreements or understandings among sellers or purchasers not to compete. Thus, antitrust laws prohibit most types of agreements by which sellers or buyers reach an understanding or agreement regarding the geographical areas in which they will operate, the products or services they will sell or buy, or the types of customers or vendors with which they will deal.  Therefore, users may not discuss or exchange information about the division of territories, products, or customers through the community. Moreover, users may not discuss whether or not to sell to or buy from particular customers or vendors.  Users may discuss their specific experiences with particular customers or vendors but should not indicate their future relationships with them and should not make recommendations through the community about actions that other users should take toward them.

Users must, and by participating in the SHOPP community, agree to abide by the following policies to ensure compliance with antitrust laws:

  • Users shall not provide an exact price for a given product or service that they sell or purchase, including a percentage saving. Users are allowed to informally survey whether through wholesalers, specialty distributors, or manufacturers, but users may not attempt to conduct formal or informal surveys regarding pricing, or pricing for any other product or service.
  • Users shall not share or discuss contract terms related to pricing or payment issues (e.g., different types of fee arrangements). Users may discuss contract terms wholly unrelated to remuneration or financial benefit. For example, users may discuss contract terms concerning compliance, such as a provision addressing a vendor’s role in assisting a hospital with regular self-audits.
  • Users shall not use language tending to encourage or invite an understanding or agreement to act in a particular way. This includes suggestions that users should/should not engage in negotiations with a particular entity, or communications about taking a hardline stance with respect to a certain manufacturer, wholesaler, specialty distributor, payer, pharmacy, vendor, or any other company.
  • Users shall not recommend, or seek the endorsement or approval of members, corporate partners, SHOPP staff, volunteers, elected officers, or SHOPP generally, with respect to a negotiating tactic, target price, or other communication relating to sub-ceiling pricing for products or drugs, or pricing for any other product or service.
  • Users agree that SHOPP is the sole moderator of discussion boards and forums and other content and interactive features, and as such, retains the right to modify, redact, or remove any question, communication, or answer that is in violation of these antitrust policies.

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