Highmark launches GPO, sup­ply-chain or­ga­ni­za­tion

Modern Healthcare - - LATE NEWS -

Highmark, a Pitts­burgh in­surer seek­ing to ac­quire a dis­tressed health sys­tem, an­nounced the launch of Pro­toco Sup­ply Chain Part­ners, a group-pur­chas­ing and sup­ply-chain ser­vices or­ga­ni­za­tion. Pro­toco will aim to squeeze $100 mil­lion over five years from West Penn Al­legheny’s sup­ply ex­penses, which to­tal $480 mil­lion an­nu­ally, ac­cord­ing to a Highmark news re­lease. Pro­toco, which em­ploys 50 peo­ple, also signed con­tracts with St. Vin­cent Health Cen­ter, Erie, Pa., and six-hospi­tal West Virginia United Health Sys­tem, Fair­mont, W.VA., the re­lease said. The move marks the sec­ond time in as many months that a health­care com­pany has an­nounced plans to en­ter the sup­ply-chain busi­ness. As­cen­sion Health Al­liance, the cor­po­rate par­ent of the coun­try’s largest Catholic health sys­tem, said in March that it would form a group pur­chas­ing or­ga­ni­za­tion. The pair of new play­ers is en­ter­ing a mar­ket in which the largest GPOS are pub­licly traded or are owned by mul­ti­ple hos­pi­tals and health sys­tems.

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