The underlying things going on in your supply chain, that you just can’t see without looking at the data, are where opportunities exist to move the needle. Everything may look good on the surface — you're automated from procure to invoice and following up on exceptions, have contracts loaded, etc. — but when you look deeper you get a different picture. This is your tuning point, when you move from “Everything is great” to “Uh-oh not so great — we’ve got problems” to “I don’t know where to even begin.”
How do you get the wheels turning? Where do you direct your focus?
“The check is in the mail.”
When it’s time to be paid, few refrains produce more unease than this one. For healthcare suppliers working to improve receivables performance, ambiguity in payment processing is problematic. As competition intensifies and interest rates rise, the pressure on suppliers to create more predictability around payment processes is climbing sharply, according to a recent study by Institutional Investor Custom Research Lab.
The threat of security breaches is no small problem in healthcare. Because of the sheer volume and variety of information contained in healthcare systems, the industry is one of the largest targets for thieves, especially for those who want to gain access to valuable protected health information (PHI).
To shield this sensitive health information, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) is increasingly assessing compliance with the HIPAA Privacy, Security, and Breach Notification Rules with an audit program. The OCR audits help ensure adherence to data protection regulations, especially as they relate to business associates (BAs), who have access to millions of patient records.
We held the April GHX Global Data Standards User Group Meeting on-site at the 2017 Healthcare Supply Chain Summit in National Harbor, MD on April 26, 2017. As always we had a tremendous turnout with individuals from throughout the healthcare supply chain continuum - providers, suppliers, GPOs, distributors — engaging in constructive dialogue on how to drive greater data standardization within our industry.
Managing contracts and compliance data is a challenge for healthcare organizations today. The process often involves people and departments across the organization requiring a secure but nimble system for tracking negotiations and approvals. Current regulations require healthcare providers to know more about who they are doing business with and to manage their vendor population with consistent scrutiny to maintain accurate data. Adding to the complexity, with mergers becoming more common, hospitals are seeing an increase in the number of local contracts along with contracts that fall outside of med-surg that need to be maintained as well. As a result, organizations need to interact with contracts in new ways, with more flexibility while maintaining even more data and security.
Mergers and acquisitions (M&As) have become the norm in our industry. Most health systems and hospitals have been, or will soon be, involved in an M&A as we move into the era of “super IDNs.” At the end of the day, none of us are going to stop this activity from occurring, so what can we do to be successful?
During a panel discussion at the 2017 Healthcare Supply Chain Summit entitled, “What provider supply chain executives should know about M&As: The Good, Bad and Ugly,” three seasoned experts in healthcare M&As shared their best practices and lessons learned -Nancy LeMaster, VP of Supply Chain Transformation at BJC HealthCare; John Berger Executive Director of Finance Shared Services at Piedmont Healthcare; and Karl Blomback, Corporate VP for Hackensack Meridian Health.