Contracting News September/October 2005

GNYHA takes consulting service nationwide
Nexera Consulting Inc., a for-profit subsidiary of the Greater New York Hospital Association (GNYHA), announced a new name and brand at the recent conference of the Association for Healthcare Resource and Materials Management in Anaheim, Calif. Begun as a member service two years ago, GNYHA decided to expand to a national market under the new name. The organization’s services fall under four categories: supply chain cost reduction, outsourcing, project management and information technology. GNYHA executive Lee Perlman serves as Nexera Consulting’s president and CEO.

Grady Health files suit over indigent care
Grady Health System in Atlanta filed a lawsuit in Fulton County Superior Court against the Georgia Department of Community Health over Medicaid reimbursements for indigent care. The dispute began in December when Grady joined large hospital systems in Macon, Ga., and Savannah, Ga., to challenge the department’s formula for divvying up about $227 million for the treatment of uninsured and poor patients. In its lawsuit, Grady claims that it should have received $3.2 million more for providing indigent care. The state claims that it will receive $300 million less per year from the federal government than a congressional investigative agency said it was wrongly receiving.

INTEGRIS Health awards Relizon contract
The Relizon Co. was awarded a five-year, $4.5 million contract by INTEGRIS Health, Oklahoma’s largest not-for-profit healthcare organization. Under the terms of the agreement, Relizon will manage many of the hospital’s clinical and non-clinical document processes, ranging from critical-care flow sheets and pharmacy labels to employee business cards and stationeries.

Children’s Hospital signs with MedAssets
Children’s Hospital and Health System in Milwaukee selected Alpharetta, Ga.-based MedAssets Supply Chain Systems for supply chain management solutions. The multi-year relationship is effective Nov. 1. Children’s has a total annual supply spend of more than $90 million. It will use a custom catalog that incorporates existing local and regional contracts, as well as MedAssets’ national contract portfolio.

McKesson signs Western N.C. Health Network
San Francisco-based McKesson Corp. signed a multi-year medical supply distribution agreement with Western North Carolina Health Network in Asheville, N.C. Under the agreement, which was effective June 27, 2005, McKesson Medical-Surgical will provide medical-surgical distribution and supply-chain services to hospitals throughout North and South Carolina.

BSN medical Orthopedics awarded TRICARE agreement
The Orthopedics division of BSN medical Inc. was awarded the TRICARE Regional Incentive Agreement for Regions 6, 7 and 8 (western and central United States). The contract requires the 46 military bases in these regions to standardize purchases of casting and splinting products through BSN medical. Products in this agreement include BSN medical’s complete line of synthetic cast tapes, plaster of Paris, cast paddings and synthetic splinting systems. The three-year agreement took effect on Sept. 1.

St. Joseph’s Hospital selects IBM for data storage
Syracuse, N.Y.-based St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center installed IBM Corp.’s TotalStorage Enterprise Storage Server Model 800 system. The system, from Armonk, N.Y.-based IBM, features IBM Tivoli Storage Manager software to automate routine backups and increase storage capacity, providing an environment with five times more capacity than its previous platform. The system enabled the transfer of St. Joseph’s paper-based records and X-ray film to an online environment. All of the hospital’s patient-critical systems are using the new storage environment. St. Joseph’s plans to eventually add a redundant storage component for rapid data recovery and more secured business continuity.

LifePoint Hospitals obtains additional senior financing
Brentwood, Tenn.-based LifePoint Hospitals exercised its right under its existing senior credit agreement with Citicorp North America Inc., dated April 15, 2005, to increase the availability of term loans by up to $150 million. The organization has borrowed $150 million in the form of the incremental term loans. LifePoint will use the funds for general corporate purposes, including repayment of revolving loans incurred when it acquired Danville Regional Medical Center in Virginia.

Brewer Company awarded GSA & FSS contract
The Brewer Company in Menomonee Falls, Wis., was awarded a U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) and Federal Service Supply (FSS) Contract with the U.S. government. Under the contract, federal agencies can purchase Brewer products for their healthcare and government facilities. The company’s complete product line includes the Assist Power Procedure Table, Access Exam Table, Basic Exam Table, exam seating, exam and procedure lighting, IV and instrument stands, carts and assorted support products.

Adventist Health names Wright as chairman
Winter Park, Fla.-based Adventist Health System selected Walter Wright, president of the Lake Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, as its new chairman. He replaces Gordon Retzer, president of the Southern Union, who served as chairman from 2002 to 2005. A new chairman is selected every three years. Retzer will remain a board member.

Broadlane signs deal with Triium
Broadlane Inc., based in San Francisco, signed an exclusive five-year agreement to provide Bloomington, Minn.-based Triium with contracting and procurement services. Triium is a regional organization serving more than 1,200 physicians in 145 medical groups and other small to mid-size independent businesses in the Minneapolis/St. Paul and surrounding area. Broadlane will negotiate and manage supply contracts, including national and regional agreements, for participating Triium members. The agreement is Broadlane’s first opportunity to serve a large physician service organization.

Baptist Health funds scholarships at Miami Dade College
Coral Gables, Fla.-based Baptist Health South Florida donated $150,000 to the Miami Dade College Foundation to sponsor nursing and health scholarships. About 80 of Miami Dade’s nursing students are admitted into the Baptist on-site program every year. More than 200 students have completed their nursing degrees and graduated with help from the scholarship program since its inception four years ago. Since 2001, Baptist Health has donated $600,000 to Miami Dade College.

VHA signs GE Healthcare
GE Healthcare, located in Waukesha, Wis., signed an agreement with Irving, Texas-based VHA Inc. to offer select professional services to VHA member facilities through its Performance Solutions business. The three-year agreement, effective July 1, 2005, includes operational, business growth and marketing solutions for radiology and education in GE’s change management techniques (Change Acceleration Process and Work-Out). The agreement is an expansion of an existing relationship between GE Healthcare and VHA.

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