Group Purchasing: Part of the Solution in Enhancing Healthcare Efficiency and Quality

Photo - Todd Ebert 100x150The Healthcare Supply Chain Association (HSCA) recently released an updated, comprehensive review of the cost savings and value that healthcare group purchasing organizations (GPOs) deliver to healthcare providers throughout the country, the findings of which were highlighted in a guest post on their website. This latest study estimates savings that GPOs bring healthcare providers range from 10-18 percent, or up to $864 billion over a ten year period, but speculates, as do I, that this estimate is on the low side as price reductions and cost savings are an ongoing effort. This study/review powerfully illustrates our industry’s story and the value we provide our customers.

Because of the complexities of the healthcare industry, it may be difficult for some to truly understand the positive impact that healthcare GPOs can have for providers. Far from being just a contract repository, as historically utilized in the past, GPOs have evolved to offer additional programs and services available to providers who may not have the resources to devote to them.

What services do healthcare GPOs provide beyond volume discounts? To name just a few:

  • GPOs help to manage the complex system of purchasing.
  • GPOs assist in the continuing education of clinicians, physicians and staff on best practices and quality of care in their area of expertise.
  • GPOs work collaboratively with all legislative and regulatory authorities to insure fair and efficient procurement practices in an open and competitive market within the healthcare industry.

But even more broadly, our industry helps to ensure:

  • An open forum for exchange and promotion of best practices in healthcare.
  • Cost-efficient, high-quality healthcare is more widely available.
  • Standards of practice and excellence are maintained in the healthcare products market.

As economic pressures continue to increase and the ability to efficiently manage costs is emphasized, healthcare GPOs, including Intalere, will play an even larger role in the healthcare industry. As the supply chain function grows in importance with reimbursement reforms making cost reduction ever-more crucial, organizations are redefining the traditional GPO relationship and leveraging the strengths of each organization to align strategies and make the resources of each more efficient and cost effective.

Together with our members, Intalere has worked to reset the GPO engagement model over the past several years in a collaborative, innovative manner that has resulted in significant supply expense reduction, as well as bringing members the increased bandwidth to undertake projects that would have required the addition of full-time resources.  As studies like the recent Dobson Davanzo piece illustrate, we continue to prove our value to our members as a company and as an industry.

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