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GPOs – Valued Partners in Healthcare
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The healthcare group purchasing organization (GPO) members of HSCA work closely with their provider partners across the continuum of care to reduce cost, add value, and improve outcomes for patients. Below you'll find some narratives that help to demonstrate why GPOs are valued partners in healthcare.

 

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TPC Members Realize Huge Savings in Anatomic Pathology Lab Testing Services

Posted By HSCA, Tuesday, November 28, 2017

To meet the challenges of today’s healthcare system, lab executives and administrators are rethinking their business strategies. As the era of fee-for-service from government and private payers is replaced by value-based reimbursement, how will clinical laboratories and pathology groups be paid? As integrated care organizations, such as ACOs and medical homes, enter the healthcare market, which lab testing services will deliver the most value to these new users? And will payers issue coverage guidelines and set adequate prices for the flood of new molecular assays and gene tests coming to market? These complexities have already driven a handful of medical laboratories and pathology practices to bankruptcy, sale, or closure. Innovative lab business and service models, such as those at TPC, are emerging to address these concerns.

At TPC, our Anatomic Pathology (AP) Reference Lab Services address testing that includes Flow, Fish, IHC, Genetic, Histo, Cyto, and Consult, as well as many others. Our unique collaborative model allows us to deliver compelling financial and non-financial results to our Members that they could not achieve on their own. 

The AP lab initiative began in late 2014, led by TPC’s Lab Clinical Value Analysis Team (CVAT). The team consisted of lab directors from each Member facility, in coordination with Member pathologists and the TPC Supply Chain Council. 

When the process began, the membership’s contracts were spread across ten different suppliers. Together, TPC Members recognized an opportunity to standardize their AP reference testing needs. As this area of testing is extremely clinical and vitally important, TPC Members felt it necessary to dual source this category. Nevertheless, the opportunity to standardize to just two suppliers would achieve huge savings for all TPC Members, while still providing them the flexibility of choice in their primary and secondary sources. TPC assembled pathologists from each Member to review and evaluate the suppliers that would participate in the Request for Proposal (RFP) – taking into consideration each supplier’s test menu and service capabilities.

At the end of the review process, two suppliers were selected, and the results were impressive. The category spend for nine TPC Member organizations was over $3 million. By leveraging their combined purchasing power, these Members realized an immediate savings of $529,000, with the potential for more savings in the future. In addition to the financial benefit, the program also afforded a turnaround guarantee with penalty, third party billing, firm pricing for the term of the agreement, web portal tool and services, and educational training.

Through our unique collaborative model, TPC is able to achieve results that our Members could not achieve on their own.  We maintain strong partnerships to manage expenditures and focus on building innovative solutions to improve healthcare purchasing, ultimately driving down the cost of healthcare for patients. TPC provides the framework for independent, community-based hospitals to achieve system value through standardization, utilization, and pricing strategies that optimize operational, financial, and clinical performance.

Stronger Together. Superior Results.

Tags:  Cost  Savings  TPC 

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Intalere Member Woodlawn Hospital Reduces Physician Preference Spend by 24 Percent through Intalere Clinical Advantage Program

Posted By HSCA, Wednesday, August 23, 2017

THE CHALLENGE

For more than 100 years, Woodlawn Hospital has provided quality healthcare
to the residents of Fulton County, Ind., and surrounding areas. The facility has
grown from a small house on the community’s Pontiac Street, to a 25-bed
critical access hospital and recognized leader in rural healthcare. With stateof-
the-art technology and compassionate, patient-centered care, Woodlawn
Hospital offers a wide range of services including a birthing center, cancer
center, emergency medical services, laboratory services, critical care and
medical/surgical units, radiology, rehabilitation services, respiratory care
services, sleep center, inpatient and outpatient surgical services, and more.

When a new supply chain director who had worked very closely and
successfully with Intalere in the past joined the facility, he immediately looked
to push cost reduction initiatives in areas including pharmacy, foodservice
and med surg items. One particular area of concern for Woodlawn, as with
many other facilities, was the cost of orthopedic implants. “Woodlawn Hospital
was seeing a cost increase on orthopedic implants every year while our
reimbursement stayed the same,” said James Truman, director of materials
management. “We needed to reduce our cost of implants.”

THE SOLUTION

Two years prior to engaging Intalere to assist in reducing their implant costs,
Woodlawn tried to negotiate directly with their supplier and to “piggyback”
onto another local facility’s contract. “Our supplier was able to reduce costs
by 10 percent but wouldn’t allow us to piggyback,” said Truman. “Although we
reached some savings, we felt that too much money was still on the table.”

Intalere’s local representative, Bobbie Smith, contacted Woodlawn about
Intalere Clinical Advantage®, a program to reduce high-dollar implant costs,
that he felt could help Woodlawn to maximize savings. Intalere Clinical
Advantage Program (ICAP) offers a proven strategy for reducing costs of
physician preference items and positively impacting clinical outcomes and
physician support through a customized, collaborative approach that brings
physicians, healthcare executives and materials managers together to work
toward a common goal of reducing healthcare costs, while improving patient care.  

ICAP is designed to facilitate savings by:

• Reducing costs on all physician and clinician preference items.
• Engaging and collaborating with physicians to develop key relationships
supported through evidence-based outcomes.
• Improving quality outcomes.
• Implementing a customized, collaborative process involving hospital
leadership and physician champions all working towards the same goal.

“Bobbie put us in contact with the Intalere Clinical Advantage team and,
ultimately, working with David Forquer we were able to reach our solution,”
said Truman.

THE OUTCOME

Woodlawn provided seven months of total spend on all implants. The
ICAP team reviewed the data for potential savings, with the ultimate
objective being to save 20 percent of spend while maintaining current
supplier relationships. A unique aspect of ICAP is that standardization is
not a requirement and there are no required suppliers or minimum spend
requirements per category. Organizations can customize their engagement to
meet their particular needs.

“Once the Intalere Clinical Advantage savings potential was reported to
hospital administration, we felt it was necessary to have our surgeons’
support,” said Truman. “A meeting was held that included our surgeons,
during which we shared with them our current cost compared to what other
hospitals were paying.”

The physicians were assured that the goal was to maintain the current supplier
if they would meet the facility’s requirement, but if not, the business would
be taken out to bid. “Once they saw the data, we had complete backing and
everyone was on the same page.”

The outcome was a reduction of implant cost by 24 percent. The Materials
Management department monitors the invoices with new current pricing. If a
discrepancy occurs, the invoice is held. To date, all pricing has been correct.

“Our professional services, knowledgeable staff and commitment to maintain
the highest standard of care, allow us to confidently handle the present and
future needs of patients in our community,” said Truman. “Tools like Intalere
Clinical Advantage help us ensure we can maintain the best clinical outcomes
at the lowest possible cost.”

Tags:  Cost  Intalere  Savings 

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Intalere OptiPrice Advantage Provides Real-Time Product Pricing Transparency, Significant Cost Reduction Opportunities for Arizona Hospital

Posted By HSCA, Wednesday, August 23, 2017

The Challenge

Product costs represent the second most significant component of hospital
operating costs, following labor expense. A recent report estimates 40 percent
of a hospital’s expense budget is attributed to medical/surgical supplies.
Supplies are a significant contributor to escalating healthcare expenditures,
a fact supported by a recent study that revealed supplies and devices
represented 24.4 percent of the average increase in cost per discharge.

Among the most critical struggles hospital supply chain executives face today
is not truly knowing fair market prices for the goods they are purchasing on an
everyday basis. This is due to a pervasive lack of information – or a lack of cost
transparency – about the fair market value of medical and surgical supplies.

Today, hospitals may spend months gathering information to negotiate a single
pricing amendment. Even then, they may lack meaningful pricing information
with which to negotiate. Such was the case for Tim Ingram, director of materials
management, Yavapai Regional Medical Center (YRMC) in Arizona. “What is
incredibly valuable to any facility and sourcing manager is a strategic tool
which enables you to compare the price you are paying for medical surgical
products to the price other hospitals from across the country are paying on the
exact same products,” he said.

The Solution

Having used these types of tools throughout his career with varying levels of
success, Ingram was intrigued, but cautious when his Intalere representative
approached him about a new solution, Intalere OptiPrice AdvantageSM. “I am
always willing to further explore anything that puts us in a better position to
get best pricing,” he said.

Intalere OptiPrice Advantage helps balance a facility’s negotiating power
with suppliers and significantly reduces the cycle time to renegotiate pricing
agreements. The solution utilizes medical surgical product pricing data
submitted monthly by more than 400 hospitals from across the country to
the Intalere OptiPrice Advantage database, which is refreshed on a daily basis.
Participating facilities represent both Intalere members and non-members.

Members can analyze spend by categories – such as stents, orthopedic
implants, endomechanical, ICDs, osteobiologics, etc. – to determine the exact
cost savings available in comparison to what other underperforming hospitals
(based on total spend and market share) with a similar product mix are paying.

The data-driven analytical design can be filtered and formatted for customized
views to enhance the depth and breadth of benchmarking needs. Intalere OptiPrice
Advantage also generates a revised price list by SKU so members can seamlessly
integrate this list with a pre-approved pricing amendment template. Intalere
OptiPrice Advantage benefits customers by making them more:

• Efficient – Reduce negotiation preparation from six months to a few hours.
• Transparent – Access real medical surgical product prices paid by peer
hospitals with first-hand market-share and dollar volume comparison.
• Tactical – Quickly gather trusted, timely data to strengthen negotiating position and achieve a clear path to savings.

The system is extremely easy to use and can be learned in less than one hour.
Intalere also provides ongoing customer support.

The Outcome

“This tool is really the epitome of making evidence-based decisions, which is
becoming increasingly important in today’s healthcare marketplace. The real-time
analytics, national scope, comparison modules and service line features give it an
advantage over other similar tools I have used, and it really makes you comfortable
and knowledgeable in terms of ‘putting you in the driver’s seat’ when negotiating,”
said Ingram.

He was also impressed with the immediate value that the tool could drive,
explaining that, within two days of implementing Intalere OptiPrice Advantage,
YRMC was able to identify more than $100,000 in price reductions on just one
product. A recent negotiation on a contract for cardiovascular implants brought a
savings of $211,000. Ingram is targeting more than $3 million in cost avoidance this
year, with a strong assist from Intalere OptiPrice Advantage.

Intalere’s partner in bringing Intalere OptiPrice Advantage to members is BroadJump
LLC, which is focused on delivering supply chain analytics that drive greater
efficiency and enable hospitals and health systems to manage their supply costs
on-demand. The BroadJump platform is powered by the fastest growing and most
up-to-date repository of healthcare supply chain data available anywhere.

Another advantage of the intuitive, real-time platform is in the utilization
opportunities it reveals. Ingram pointed to a situation where switching purchasing
patterns, not products, and going from purchasing in 20 per box packs, as opposed
to 10 per box packs, brought a quick savings of over $17,000.

“You don’t have to necessarily move away from products, depending on the balance
of cost and outcomes. But you are providing physicians and others with reliable
data, allowing for more informed decisions,” he said.

Tags:  Arizona  Cost  Intalere 

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Great Results

Posted By HSCA, Wednesday, March 29, 2017

TPC helps hospitals achieve significant economies of scale by collaborating as a single contracting entity.

By Alan Dorich

It has been said that culture trumps strategy, and it is TPC’s culture of innovation and commitment that enables its hospital members to endure the highs and lows of the increasingly volatile healthcare market, President and CEO Geoff Brenner says. “Culturally, we have developed into a very fluid and adaptable organization that consistently achieves market-leading results amid unprecedented industry disruption,” he says.

Based in Plano, Texas, TPC is a hospital-owned coalition that focuses on innovative cost-reduction strategies within supply chain, purchased services and clinical product utilization. Its history goes back to 2007 when several large health systems conducted a study to measure the true value of consolidation.

“The results of the study revealed that as much as 80 percent of the anticipated financial value generated by hospital consolidation could potentially be achieved by collaborating as a single, committed contracting entity and if successful, it would diminish the need to merge assets,” Brenner explains, noting that the group ultimately chose not to merge assets but rather to form a highly-committed partnership by creating TPC.

Today, TPC consists of 11 healthcare systems located in three states, and has achieved more than $180 million in documented savings since 2010. “By working together as a single contracting entity, TPC hospitals have developed the collective market footprint of a very large integrated delivery network, with a very high commitment level,” Brenner says. “They collaborate as one system to achieve the economies of scale they need to remain financially strong to serve their local markets.”

Two specific areas where TPC has achieved industry-leading financial results are within difficult clinical product categories and purchased services. “On average, TPC members have documented a 20 percent reduction in their supply costs,” Brenner says.

Tough Enough

Brenner has been in the healthcare industry since 1995 and originally served as the president of TPC’s parent company. He credits TPC’s success to the hospitals’ unwavering commitment to each other and the sophisticated self-governance model that has evolved over the years.

“They collaborate as one system,” he says, noting that this enables the company to strategically focus on savings opportunities that are the most difficult to achieve, but offer the highest financial return.

“Oftentimes healthcare supply coalitions set lofty goals to pursue the tougher, higher-yield product or service categories, but those ambitions often fail to materialize because the governance structure was not engineered to deal with inter-hospital conflict, difficult tradeoffs and the binding commitment that is required,” Brenner explains. “TPC’s board, executive steering committee, supply chain leaders and physician/clinical leaders have consistently demonstrated the courage to tackle the most challenging scenarios because they recognize their collective ability to optimize their supply chain has a direct correlation to their financial health, and their ability to provide safe, cost-effective care to their local communities.”

The Best Model

 TPC hospitals routinely evaluate the value propositions offered by their suppliers, Brenner says. “Within the hospital sector, the focus on costs and value are unrelenting,” he states. “Every decision maker is under immense pressure to make prudent, sustainable choices.”

Oftentimes this effort requires physicians to evaluate supplies and vendors they have used for many years. This prospect can be very difficult, since the physicians may have developed strong preferences for the products they use on a regular basis and strong alliances with the supplier representatives. “Navigating those scenarios is one of the greatest challenges,” he admits.

But TPC addresses this challenge by providing the physicians with clinical and financial data that reveals, often for the first time, clinical utilization patterns, clinical outcomes (quality), product costs and ultimately, value. Physicians are highly educated, intelligent, ethical and data-driven; when presented with concise, well-vetted data, they prudently evaluate the variables and propose one or more viable alternatives. That is the power of strong member-led governance.

“Alternatively, if TPC approached the physicians with a preformed agenda that required them to convert from Supplier A to Supplier B, they would justifiably resist the change,” Brenner says. “But as they collaborate as peers and their confidence in the data and the process builds, they identify options to improve the cost metrics without sacrificing clinical quality or patient care.”

Committed to Change

Brenner is proud of the culture at TPC. “There’s a relentless commitment to innovate and evolve,” he says, noting that it requires employees to become increasingly more “comfortable with unprecedented ambiguity.”

Although the work itself can be very challenging, “We have learned to confront each obstacle as a team, and in that approach we have developed a love for what we do, with whom we do it, and for the healthcare organizations for which we do it,” he says. “The real credit belongs to the TPC hospitals; they have been setting the bar day in and day out since 2007.”

TPC’s plan is to stay aggressive when it comes to serving its hospital members and innovating cost reduction strategies within supply chain, purchased services, and even revenue cycle (a new strategic focus area). “Together, we’ve created significant momentum, economies of scale and tangible value.” Brenner explains. “As we move forward, TPC may be required to expand beyond contracting and explore process-related opportunities. The worst thing we can do is look at the results we’ve had and think that trajectory continues upward without continually, and often radically, rethinking our business.”

Tags:  Cost  Texas  TPC 

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Vizient Members Adopt Energy Best Practices to Drive $3.7M in Budget Savings

Posted By HSCA, Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Hospitals are among the most intensive consumers of energy in the United States, with 3 to 5 percent of their annual budget going to energy costs. Yet many continue to overpay for energy supply by relying on traditional purchasing methods. Unfortunately, those methods rarely deliver the best price for the hospital.

Unlike supply chain purchasing for commodity items, the energy market requires a totally different approach that’s more akin to managing market-sensitive assets and liabilities, such as the hospital’s bond portfolio. To be successful, a hospital needs to be able to decide between hedge purchasing versus index decisions (or a combination of both), using financial probability modeling.

“We see many members issuing request for proposals using just their own volume, or in some cases, buying their energy with minimal market intelligence,” said Will Gowan, senior director, contract services for Vizient. “The Vizient energy program, which facilitates the implementation of energy procurement best practices, is helping hospitals realize significant savings.”

Three Vizient members have booked $3.7 million in budget savings by adopting these best practices in energy procurement and management:

·         Use of analytics to manage market risk and capture savings

·         Internal alignment of facilities, finance and supply chain staff around a central strategy that integrates both supply and demand management

·         Aggregation of spend with other hospitals to drive cost savings

 

WellSpan Health, a growing multihospital network based in south central Pennsylvania, realized a $2.1 million savings over their current contract term by transitioning from a traditional bid-based, fixed-rate procurement method to an actively managed market approach. A first step in the transition was organizing a multidisciplinary committee, consisting of the chief financial officer, chief operating officer, treasury vice president and key facility directors, who actively manage the electricity and natural gas spend across the organization’s facilities.

The committee then made the decision to join an aggregation network with other Vizient members and was able to reduce electricity supplier margins by 50 percent. Additionally, they have begun using statistical market analysis to identify savings opportunities in the forward markets, which led to a new contract design where the health system layers its energy purchasing over time. According to Richard Harley, vice president of corporate treasury services at WellSpan, “Our organization now manages its energy spend much as it does other market-sensitive assets and liabilities.”

Another health system seeing a reduction in costs as a result of adopting best practices and having access to analytics through a Vizient energy partner is Lifespan, one of New England’s leading health systems. Lifespan had already taken steps to more directly control its energy costs by recently building a cogeneration plant at its Rhode Island hospital campus. While that step was yielding cost savings, they wanted to take their energy program to the next level.

“We now have access to the highest level of financial and market analytics available in the industry,” said Tom Magliochetti, vice president of facilities at Lifespan. As a result, Lifespan saved $1 million on an already well-managed energy budget and is continuing to integrate and optimize both its on-campus assets and its market procurement processes to drive savings.

At the same time, OhioHealth, a 12-hospital IDN based in Columbus, has revitalized its energy management by implementing all three best practice principles. “The market forecasting and analytics were the key difference in reducing OhioHealth’s energy procurement costs by more than $600,000 over the past year,” said Alan Nelson, system vice president of treasury at OhioHealth. “Even more importantly, the health system has transitioned to managing energy using a team approach.”

“Vizient’s mission is to drive savings for our members. While we are confident every Vizient member can find benefit regardless of market conditions, we haven’t stopped working to improve," said Gowan. “We're currently conducting an outreach to all Vizient members interested in improving their energy results through our best-practices approach. We would particularly like to hear from member facilities, finance, and supply chain leaders so we can perform an assessment to discover opportunities and drive greater savings for all participants,” said Gowan.

Tags:  Cost  New England  Ohio  Pennsylvania  Savings  Vizient 

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Intalere Launches Industry-Leading Real-Time Cost Transparency Tool - Intalere OptiPrice Advantage

Posted By HSCA, Tuesday, September 20, 2016

St. Louis (September 19, 2016) - Intalere, the healthcare industry leader in delivering optimal cost, quality and clinical outcomes, today announced the introduction of Intalere OptiPrice Advantage℠ (powered by BroadJump™), a tool which provides real-time product cost transparency to help hospitals capture millions of dollars in savings on medical and surgical supply costs.

“Today, hospitals may spend months gathering information to negotiate a single pricing amendment. Even then, they may lack meaningful pricing information with which to negotiate. Intalere OptiPrice Advantage is a strategic sourcing tool which enables you to compare the price you are paying for medical surgical products to the price other hospitals from across the country are paying on the exact same products,” said Julius Heil, Intalere president and CEO.  

Intalere Optiprice Advantage helps balance a facility’s negotiating power with suppliers and significantly reduces the cycle time to renegotiate pricing agreements. The solution utilizes medical surgical product pricing data submitted monthly by more than 400 hospitals from across the country to the Intalere OptiPrice Advantage database, which is refreshed on a daily basis. Participating facilities represent both Intalere members and non-members.

Members can analyze spend by categories – such as stents, orthopedic implants, endomechanical, ICDs, osteobiologics, etc. – to determine the range of cost savings available in comparison to what other hospitals with a similar product mix are paying.

The data-driven analytical design can be filtered and formatted for customized views to enhance the depth and breadth of benchmarking needs. Intalere OptiPrice Advantage also generates a revised price list by SKU so members can seamlessly integrate this list with a pre-approved pricing amendment template. Intalere OptiPrice Advantage benefits customers by making them more:

  • Efficient - Reduce negotiation preparation from six months to a few hours.
  • Transparent - Access real medical surgical product prices paid by peer hospitals with first-hand market-share and dollar volume comparison.
  • Tactical - Quickly gather trusted, timely data to strengthen negotiating position and achieve a clear path to savings.

The system is extremely easy to use and can be learned in less than one hour. Intalere will also provide ongoing customer support. Yavapai Regional Medical Center and Virginia Mason Medical Center have both signed on as the newest customers of Intalere OptiPrice Advantage.

“This tool is really the epitome of making evidence-based decisions, which is becoming increasingly important in today’s healthcare marketplace,” said Tim Ingram, director of materials management, Yavapai Regional Medical Center (YRMC). “The real-time analytics, national scope, comparison modules and service line features give it an advantage over other similar tools I have used, and it really makes you comfortable and knowledgeable in terms of ‘putting you in the driver’s seat’ when negotiating.”  According to Ingram, within two days of implementing Intalere OptiPrice Advantage, YRMC was able to identify more than $100,000 in price reductions on just one product.

Intalere’s partner in bringing Intalere OptiPrice Advantage to members is BroadJump LLC, which is focused on delivering supply chain analytics that drive greater efficiency and enable hospitals and health systems to manage their supply costs on-demand. The BroadJump platform is powered by the fastest growing and most up-to-date repository of healthcare supply chain data available anywhere.

Tags:  Cost  Intalere  Savings  Transparency 

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Unique Provider Allied Services Engages with the Full Value of Intalere to Reduce Costs and Achieve New Levels of Success

Posted By HSCA, Tuesday, August 2, 2016

THE CHALLENGE

Allied Services, the leading provider of healthcare and human services for
northeastern Pennsylvanians with disabilities and chronic illness, is a truly
unique care provider. Founded in 1958, Allied’s 3,200 employees and volunteers
serve nearly 5,000 people in 22 counties, providing:

• Inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation.
• Vocational/community services.
• Home health.
• Homecare.
• Personal care.
• Skilled/long-term care.
• Transitional care.
• Hospice.

“We have been fortunate to grow and serve based on the needs of the
community,” said Vince Splendido, vice president of supply chain at Allied
Services. “Our diversity is challenging. It’s not just the traditional med surg
products and services, but there is lots of variety and special needs.”
When they engaged Intalere as their group purchasing organization in
2013, the first challenge was to learn and leverage as much about each other as
possible in order to maximize the partnership.

“Allied Services is a unique healthcare facility that Intalere hadn’t previously
experienced. It was a learning process for both Allied Services and Intalere
to find a program tailored to our type of care and breadth of services,” said
Splendido. “In addition to the cost reduction and quality of care enhancements
we expected to gain through our association with Intalere, we were looking to
establish a long-lasting, productive partnership that would bring the greatest
benefit to our patients and the communities we serve.”

As with all providers in healthcare’s current landscape, Allied had to find ways
to cut operational costs without decreasing quality of care, while dealing with
implementation of new government mandates for equipment and protocols,
and ever-increasing costs. Allied was also challenged with balancing a large
portion of uncompensated care with the desire to maintain all current services.

THE SOLUTION

The Allied team, led by Splendido, Assistant Director David Caprari and Purchasing
Manager Fred Roughsedge, set up weekly meetings and calls with their Intalere
counterparts, led by director of member solutions Tom Toth, to review Intalere
Savings Roadmaps and Opportunity Reports for cost reduction opportunities.

A dynamic reporting tool, Intalere Savings Roadmap®, analyzes and compares current
spend with the Intalere portfolio. Facilities can analyze and review total spend by:

• Contracts and tier commitment requirements.
• Total spend per contract.
• Current versus Intalere costs.
• Savings opportunities.
• Standardization status.
• Product category.

By identifying realistic and actionable opportunities for savings, the tool helps
prioritize the opportunities by developing the Savings Roadmap – an Excel tool that
maximizes bottom-line impact and provides the staff support to implement the
savings initiatives and the key supply chain dashboards to monitor, track and report
savings through all levels of the organization.

The Opportunity Report is best suited for smaller providers or for providers that may
have received an Intalere Savings Roadmap within the last six months and are looking
to maintain momentum and focus on the available opportunities.

As with the Roadmap, the Opportunity Report highlights areas of opportunity for the
provider. Those opportunities range from savings that can be quickly and easily realized
by signing a Letter of Commitment, to conversion opportunities. All of the information
is contained in an easy-to-read report.

THE OUTCOME

“From the beginning, Intalere showed a genuine interest in our success,” said
Roughsedge. “Using their data tools, they were able to dissect contracts in many
different areas and chart a path to savings.” Allied was able to implement collaborative
initiatives with Intalere in the areas of med surg, construction, nutrition, environmental
services, pharmacy and laboratory. Nutrition was one of the largest areas of spend for
Allied, which operates one of the largest cafeterias in the state of Pennsylvania.

In this case, and many others, Intalere’s field specialists worked directly with
department directors to identify savings and quality standards. “They engage down to
the department level – that’s where the real value is,” he said. “It’s just not the pricing,
but the value-added services they provide.”

Allied also took full advantage of Intalere’s alliance initiative, taking a board seat on the
Intalere Eastern Alliance. “The culture and cohesiveness of the group has afforded us
the opportunity to reach an even higher level of success, further allowing our size and
volume to reduce operational costs,” said Splendido. Allied served as a test site for a
standardization project around surgical gloves which brought them $65,000 in direct
savings while also engaging the clinical staff in the value analysis initiative to ensure
enhanced product quality.

Allied’s initial goal of reducing operational costs by 2 percent was easily achieved,
and the collaboration to bring savings and efficiency, both individually and through
the Intalere alliance program, continues into other areas. “Now everyone knows,” said
Roughsedge. “The Intalere name is recognized. The value is understood. There has
been a true cultural change and awareness of what this collaboration has brought to
our organization.”

Tags:  Cost  Intalere  Pennsylvania 

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Virginia Mason Medical Center Value Analysis Project Improves Standardization and Intalere Contract Compliance, Results in $766,000 in Cost Savings

Posted By HSCA, Tuesday, August 2, 2016

THE CHALLENGE

Established in 1920, Virginia Mason is a non-profit organization offering a system
of integrated health services, featuring a multispecialty group practice of more
than 460 employed physicians and offering both primary and specialty care as
well as an acute care hospital licensed for 336 beds. Virginia Mason has been
recognized by numerous organizations as one of the top hospitals in the nation
and is one of the first organizations in the world to adapt the Toyota Production
System (TPS) to healthcare. As such, they are no strangers to implementing
process and efficiency improvements that can reduce costs and improve
clinical outcomes.

Traditionally at Virginia Mason Medical Center (VMMC), supply chain
involvement in new product implementation was primarily limited to
financial analysis. The clinicians determined whether to bring in products
without understanding the overall impact to the institution. A new process to
better integrate supply chain and clinical areas was needed to both improve
communication and to align organizational goals.

THE SOLUTION

VMMC initiated a project to enhance the product value analysis function
under the leadership of Bill Knight, value analysis manager, by establishing
value analysis teams (VATs) in areas including operating room, lab,
GI/endoscopy, IR/radiology, nursing and the regional medical centers.
The teams include members from each specific area plus the “core four:”
the value analysis manager, a physician advisor, clinical product review
specialist and a contract utilization analyst (an employee of Intalere
affiliate Health Resource Services (HRS)).

A standard agenda was established for each team, which included
a review of the following:

• Product issues such as safety, recalls and back orders.
• Products in trial.
• New products brought to the team.
• Intalere contract opportunities.
• Questions and concerns.

Each product was assessed according to several different criteria including:

• Quality.
• Functionality.
• Literature to support efficacy/evidence-based practice.
• Availability of replacement product.
• FDA approval/guarantee.
• Infection control issues.
• Environmental impact.
• Availability of Intalere contract.
• Finance/reimbursement analysis.
• Labor savings.
• Price.
• Standardization.
• Association with capital purchase.
• Physician certification.

THE OUTCOME

Although the concept of the value analysis team was not novel, the degree of
involvement of the clinical arenas was innovative.

Previously, almost every clinical area had its own product assessment teams
with only peripheral supply chain involvement. The new, comprehensive
value analysis teams allowed supply chain to be an equal partner in decisions
regarding new products. The collaboration of physician and clinical champions
fully addressed clinical efficacy aspects and also brought a level of credibility to
product choices.

It also allowed for increased visibility of VMMC’s group purchasing partners and
the value of using those contracts. To ensure accountability, all VAT scoreboards
are posted to the intranet for visibility of progress.

The value analysis teams improved standardization and Intalere contract
compliance, leading to a documented cost savings of $766,000. This also
decreased inventory and increased quality and safety of product usage. The
teams also respond to product safety issues and are able to identify similar,
higher quality products without increased expenses. Significantly, the value
analysis teams led to collaboration and collegiality between supply chain and
operational areas of the Virginia Mason integrated delivery system.

Tags:  Cost  Intalere  Savings 

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Vizient, Inc. Named to Supply & Demand Chain Executive’s SDCE 100 Top Supply Chain Projects for 2016

Posted By HSCA, Friday, July 15, 2016
IRVING, Texas--()--Supply & Demand Chain Executive, the executive's user manual for successful supply and demand chain transformation, has selected Vizient, Inc. as a recipient of an SDCE 100 Award for 2016.

The SDCE 100 is an annual list of 100 great supply chain projects. These projects can serve as a guide for supply chain executives who are looking for new opportunities to drive improvement in their own operations. These projects show how supply chain solution and service providers help their customers and clients achieve supply chain excellence and prepare their supply chains for success.

Vizient was recognized for its supply chain transformation project with INTEGRIS Health to sustain a $15 million savings realized from a Vizient cost reduction initiative. Vizient enabled the health system to enhance its organizational structure by aligning facilities under a single supply chain operations and assisting in training of skillsets for positions. The organizational improvements generated a sustainable infrastructure across INTEGRIS Health supply chain operations; improved contract and GPO compliance; reduced rogue agreements; provided greater visibility into vendor performance; and delivered more financial value from vendor relationships.

“The challenges around operational improvement and cost reduction facing our industry are significant and gaining efficiencies in the supply chain are in the spotlight,” said Larry Bramble, vice president, Consulting Services – Supply Chain Operations. “Vizient’s approach is rooted in collaboration and creative problem solving that helps supply chain leaders make every aspect of their operations as cost effective as possible with sustainable results. We are extremely proud to have our work recognized by Supply & Demand Chain Executive.”

“Our goal with 2016’s SDCE 100 is to shine the spotlight on successful and innovative transformation projects that deliver bottom-line value to small, medium and large enterprises across the supply chain,” said Ronnie Garrett, editor of Supply & Demand Chain Executive. “The selected projects can serve as a roadmap for supply chain executives looking for new opportunities to drive improvement in their own operations. We congratulate all of our winners for a job well done!”

Tags:  Cost  Savings  Vizient 

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Optimize|Item Master Identifies $500,000 in Billing for Omaha Children’s

Posted By HSCA, Friday, January 15, 2016

The challenges faced by health care providers throughout the United States are daunting. Reimbursements are declining while costs are increasing, and staff is feeling pressure to do more with less. Simply getting paid for the services that are provided is an undertaking that can easily consume a vast amount of resources. In fact, billing and collections can be the most challenging factor in the revenue cycle equation. Health care providers are constantly adjusting their billing and collections methods in an effort to accommodate changing regulations and keep up with industry standards.

This is certainly true at Children’s Hospital & Medical Center in Omaha, Neb. — the only full-service pediatric specialty health care center in Nebraska. At Children’s, no child in need of medical care is ever turned away because of inability to pay. This may be why, according to Chris Klaiber, materials manager at Children’s, “we’ve always been paid a high percentage of the charges we bill.”

This was the case until fall 2012, that is. Chris and his team began noticing that some insurance payers were requiring that Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System codes be included when billing for certain items. “We’d never had a situation that required us to include HCPCS codes, so this was new to us,” said Lori Kirsch, value analysis nurse at Children’s. “Even if there was only one line item that was missing a HCPCS code, the payer would refuse to pay the entire bill.”

Realizing that these interruptions in their revenue cycle were unsustainable, Children’s began urgently looking for the missing codes to move the revenue process forward. Using every resource they knew of to tackle the problem, resources were stretched thin as their “all hands on deck” approach turned registered nurses into makeshift medical billing coders.

“Vizient helped Children’s bill over $500,000 within a couple of passes through Optimize|Item Master. Just imagine trying to fill a $1 million hole in your budget, and finding over half of it in one place. That’s huge.”  Read the rest of the story here.

Tags:  Cost  Nebraska  Vizient 

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