Put fo­cus on sup­pli­ers

Modern Healthcare - - OPINIONS LETTERS - John Walker Ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of ma­te­ri­als man­age­ment Owens­boro (Ky.) Med­i­cal Health Sys­tem

Iread your ar­ti­cle “Sup­ply-side eco­nom­ics” (Aug. 20, p. 24) with great in­ter­est. In Owens­boro, Ky., we have been on the mis­sion to re­duce our costs since I ar­rived here three years ago. Last year was a great year as we found more than $7 mil­lion and the two pre­vi­ous years net­ted more than $5 mil­lion each. Owens­boro Med­i­cal Health Sys­tem is a 371-bed stand-alone hospi­tal.

Cer­tainly there are a great deal of sav­ings to be had with sup­plies, but I’ve also found tremen­dous sav­ings in main­te­nance agree­ments, ser­vice con­tracts, cap­i­tal equip­ment buys and so on. OMHS has been us­ing two GPOs and, of course, ne­go­ti­at­ing our­selves.

If the coun­try wanted to save Medi­care bil­lions of dol­lars a year, sim­ply make ev­ery sup­plier put a price on ev­ery prod­uct and charge ev­ery hospi­tal the ex­act same amount. That would elim­i­nate the gi­ant has­sle of get­ting a fair price. Dur­ing the bench­mark­ing process, I found knee im­plants that ranged from as high as $10,000 at one lo­ca­tion to as low as $3,700 at an­other. Same ex­act prod­uct. That just isn’t right.

Hos­pi­tals spend bil­lions on con­sul­tants, GPOs, bench­mark­ing com­pa­nies, data clean­ers, etc. All that would go away if we were be­ing treated fairly. It’s pretty sim­ple … Obama care is go­ing af­ter the wrong part of our in­dus­try. They need to get the sup­pli­ers right.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.