I had the pleasure during GHX’s recent Supply Chain Summit to participate in one of the conference’s most heavily-attended sessions: a four-way conversation among manufacturers, distributors, GPOs, and providers about what needs to be done to better align pricing in the healthcare supply chain. Joining me in the session were some industry heavyweights: Del Jackson, Vice President of Contract Operations with Premier; Debra Gelman, Vice President of Channel Operations with Care Fusion; Dena Jackson, Director of Supply Chain with Anne Arundel Medical Center; and Steve Inacker, President of Hospital Sales & Services with Cardinal Health, along with Jan McCue, Vice President, Corporate Accounts from GHX.
By Ronda Wirth, Procurement Operations Manager, Supply Chain Management, Northern Arizona Healthcare
At Northern Arizona Healthcare (NAH), we believe paying any price for a product other than what has been negotiated with the supplier is a disservice to our customers. But doing so is easier said than done.
Healthcare contracting is a highly complex, multi-step process and cutting costs in contracting is directly attributed to pricing alignment. The lack of pricing synchronization across supply chain constituents creates pricing errors that result in significant rework between providers and suppliers. In addition, suppliers and distributors require numerous back office personnel to support the highly complex rebate and chargeback process necessary to support group purchasing contracts.
Healthcare providers need visibility into vendor contracts across the entire organization in order to drive contract compliance, consolidate vendor spend and reduce supply costs. At the heart of improving transparency and visibility is an effective contract management strategy. Without it, organizations lack the ability to obtain and access the data necessary to make smart purchasing decisions and maximize cost savings opportunities.