Contracting News March/April 2007

HIDA and The MAX release new GPO market report
Alexandria, Va.-based Health Industry Distributors Association (HIDA), in partnership with Carlisle, Pa.-based Major Accounts Exchange (The MAX), released a new group purchasing organizations market report in February 2007. According to the report, healthcare’s GPO marketplace is expected to grow at a pace that exceeds the overall growth rate for the U.S. economy. The report also states an annual 5.7 percent increase is expected. Among the findings are indicators that as GPOs purchasing volume expands, they are no longer limiting their activities to supplying acute care facilities. In a 2006 HIDA survey, more than 30 percent of responding distributors selling to GPOs did so in predominantly physician-oriented markets. GPOs are reaching out to physician and alternate-site customers. GPOs are also better serving local markets. More than 80 percent of GPO organizations are independent locally/regionally-based companies or local/regional affiliates of national GPOs.

Premier Inc. awards contract to Craneware Inc.
San Diego-based Premier Inc. awarded a new contract to Orlando-based Craneware Inc. Under the five-year agreement, Craneware will provide chargemaster and revenue-cycle software to Premier members. The agreement includes the Chargemaster Toolkit, Chargemaster Corporate Toolkit, Bill Analyzer and Decision Dashboard software solutions.

CHI Connect implemented
Denver-based Catholic Health Initiatives implemented its pilot of CHI Connect at its national offices and at Memorial Health Care System, of Chattanooga, Tenn., St Joseph Health Ministries, of Lancaster, Pa., and Albuquerque-based St Joseph Community Health.

Sacred Heart Health’s CEO assigned additional duties
St. Louis-based Ascension Health assigned additional duties to Patrick J. Madden, CEO of Pensacola, Fla.-based Sacred Heart Health System. Madden was selected to be one of four “ministry market leaders” at Ascension, developing the system’s market strategies from Mobile to Jacksonville, while continuing in his current role. Ascension announced realignment of operations in an effort to link its healthcare facilities. In this instance, Madden will have extended oversight at Mobile, Ala.-based Providence Hospital, as well as at Jacksonville, Fla.-based St. Vincent’s Health System.

Cardinal launches new point-of-care safety suite
Dublin, Ohio-based Cardinal Health launched a new point-of-care suite that allows hospitals to monitor orders, determine the location of medications, pre-program pumps for IV infusions, verify the accuracy of medications administered, and document to the hospital’s existing IT systems, all with one application. This is due to a complete suite of automated dispensing cabinets, smart infusion pumps and bedside bar code verification systems that communicate seamlessly with each other. Cardinal also launched Integrated Medication Solutions to help hospitals more efficiently purchase and manage medications through the entire medication use process. It includes a collection of systems, services and expert consultants. At first, it will be available to IDNs and large hospitals.

UCSF Medical Center installs New EP Lab
UCSF Medical Center at Parnassus, of San Francisco, Calif., installed a new cardiac electrophysiology (EP) lab from Bothell, Wash.-based Royal Phillips Electronics. The system pairs the ceiling-mounted Philips Allura Xper FD10 X-ray system with the Stereotaxis Niobe system using magnetic navigation capabilities. The combined system is designed to provide flexibility and improved catheter stability for physicians during complex interventional cardiovascular procedures.

Hospital Federation Board names new leadership
Keith B. Pitts, vice chairman of Nashville-based Vanguard Health Systems, was named chairman of Federation of American Hospitals, of Washington, D.C. Victor L. Campbell, SVP at HCA Inc., of Nashville, Tenn., previously served in the post. William F. Carpenter, III, president and CEO of LifePoint Hospitals Inc., of Brentwood, Tenn., was named secretary of the federation’s board of directors.

HHS Unveils local health information exchange
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released a plan to create local health quality information exchanges. The exchanges would be created by local groups of physicians, nurses, hospitals, health plans, employers and unions pooling local information on the quality of care using national quality reporting standards. The exchanges will then be made available to the public

West Penn Allegheny refinances debt
Pittsburgh-based West Penn Allegheny Health System received approval from the Allegheny County Hospital Development Authority to sell $965 million of junk-rated, tax-exempt bonds. Proceeds from the bonds will be used to fund capital projects and to refinance existing debt. Approval of the sale marks the largest-ever offering of below investment grade debt in the U.S. municipal market.

Novation launches surgical III standardization program
Irving, Texas-based Novation launched its new Surgical III Program effective through Dec. 31, 2009. The new program offers additional value and savings on select product categories to hospitals that are members of Irving, Texas-based VHA Inc. and the University HealthSystem Consortium, of Oak Brook, Ill. The program is composed of eight product categories: facial protection and related products, supplied by Kimberly-Clark Corp.; instrument care, supplied by Action Surgical Solutions and Ecolab; laparascopic irrigation, supplied by CR Bard/Davol; lab sponges, specialty sponges or OR towels, supplied by NOVAPLUS/Medical Action Industries; one step surgical skin prep, supplied by 3M Health Care; open and closed wound drainage, supplied by CR Bard and Medline Industries Inc; surgical equipment covers, supplied by Microteck Medical Inc.; and surgical gloves, supplied by Ansell Healthcare Products Inc. Medline Industries and Regent.

McLaren Health wins approval for $500 million campus
Flint, Mich.-based McLaren Health Care Corp. won approval from the Independence Township board to develop a $500 million campus, tentatively called the McLaren Health Care Village, at Clarkston. The $500 million complex will consist of five buildings to include an outpatient surgery center, a heart and cancer facility and retail stores.

GHX, Lawson Software partner to reduce supply costs
GHX-Global Healthcare Exchange LLC, of Westminster, Colo., announced an expanded partnership with Minneapolis-based Lawson Software to help healthcare organizations reduce supply costs and help maximize the value of their Lawson Supply Chain Management system. Under the agreement, Lawson provides supply chain management expertise and other value-added services and GHX provides data enrichment, standardization and classification services via Lawson Data Management Services.

West Penn Allegheny refinances debt
Pittsburgh-based West Penn Allegheny Health System received approval from the Allegheny County Hospital Development Authority to sell $965 million of junk-rated, tax-exempt bonds. Proceeds from the bonds will be used to fund capital projects and to refinance existing debt. Approval of the sale marks the largest-ever offering of below investment grade debt in the U.S. municipal market.

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