Group Purchasing Organizations May Increase Role In Health Care Reform

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s federal policy makers look for new ways to squeeze more out of every dollar spent on health care, one of the best solutions is already at hand: “group purchasing organizations” (GPOs). That’s according to a major new report to be released during a live, national phone-based news conference (with full Q&A) at 1 p.m. EDT on April 29, 2009.

The study is authored by Dr. Eugene S. Schneller, professor, Arizona State University and principal, Health Care Sector Advances, Inc. Based on a detailed survey of 28 U.S. health care systems representing 429 hospitals, Dr. Schneller quantifies the total U.S. health care cost savings associated with GPOs by measuring such key factors as total savings per hospital and total savings per discharged patient. The report’s findings are particularly relevant now as Congress and the Obama Administration seek to achieve greater health care savings through an emphasis on increased efficiencies.

Group purchasing organizations are large national organizations and smaller regional entities that achieve health care cost savings by aggregating their health care buying volume and then using that leverage to negotiate discounts with manufacturers, distributors and other vendors. GPOs negotiate on behalf of hospitals and affiliated health care providers to contract for the best value in their purchase of supplies and services.

Dr. Schneller is Dean’s Council of 100 Distinguished Scholars at Arizona State University School of Health Administration and Policy where he is co-director of the Health Sector Supply Chain Research Consortium. Dr. Schneller, who has held teaching and research posts at Montefiore Hospital and Medical Center, Duke University Medical Center, Union College, Albany Medical Center, and Columbia University, is the author of over 35 journal articles as well as the co-author of Strategic Management of the Health Care Supply Chain (Jossey-Bass).

News event speakers will be:

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* Report co-author Dr. Eugene S. Schneller;

* Todd Ebert, president and CEO, Amerinet, Inc., a St. Louis-based investor-owned group purchasing organization;

* Alan Yordy, president and CEO, Peacehealth Hospital, Bellingham, Washington; and

* Curtis Rooney, president, Health Industry Group Purchasing Association.

The Health Care Sector Advances survey and report conducted by Dr. Schneller was carried out with financial support from the Health Industry Group Purchasing Association.

TO PARTICIPATE: You can join this live, phone-based news conference (with full, two-way Q&A) at 1 p.m. EDT on April 29, 2009 by dialing 1 (800) 860-2442. Ask for the “health care savings study” news event.

The Health Industry Group Purchasing Association (HIGPA) is a broad-based trade association that represents 16 group purchasing organizations, including not-for-profit and for-profit corporations, purchasing groups, associations, multi-hospital systems and health care provider alliances. HIGPA provides educational opportunities designed to improve efficiencies in the purchase, sale and utilization of all goods and services within the health industry and to promote meaningful dialogue between GPOs. For more information, visit http://www.higpa.org on the Web.

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