Contracting News September/October 2009

Novation names Knapp VP, sourcing operations
Irving, Texas-based Novation has promoted Greg Knapp to vice president of sourcing operations for Novation. In his new role, Knapp will continue to lead the lab, food service, environmental/facilities management services, business services, and furniture portfolios as well as the medical research program. In addition to these responsibilities, he will assume oversight for the contracting of non-health care specific products and services for Novation. Having joined Novation as a research analyst in 1989, Knapp has since held the positions of associate product manager, product manager, senior product manager, director and most recently senior director within Novation’s sourcing operations. He has played an integral role in the successful implementation of numerous Novation initiatives, including the development of the company’s medical research program. Prior to joining Novation, Knapp had responsibility for pharmaceutical purchasing and IV systems purchasing at All Saints Hospital.

Premier endorses GS1 supply chain standards
Charlotte, N.C.-based Premier Inc. selected 1SYNCTM as its data pool for accessing product information in the Global Data Synchronization Network® (GDSN). The GDSN facilitates the sharing of data among supply chain partners in an automated, standards-based, electronic environment. In order to access the GDSN, organizations must first select a data pool. 1SYNC is the leading data pool for the GDSN, which is a standard developed and maintained by the global, not-for-profit GS1 organization. More than 19,000 companies, primarily in the retail, hardware and consumer packaged goods sectors, use it to access information for more than 3 million products.

CMS announces inflated payments in 2010 rule
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently announced an inflation update for FY 2010 for acute care hospitals. The update is part of a final rule among policy changes and payment rates for general acute care hospitals’ inpatient services paid under the Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS) and long-term care hospitals (LTCHs), paid under the LTCH PPS. The rule will affect approximately 3,500 acute care hospitals and 400 long-term care hospitals and will go into effect with discharges on or after Oct. 1, 2009. CMS will also consider phasing in future adjustments beginning FY 2011, once an analysis of data is collected from FY 2008 and FY 2009.

VHA appoints leaders of VHA West Coast, VHA Pacific Northwest
Irving, Texas-based VHA Inc., appointed Rick Barnett as president of VHA West Coast Inc. (Pleasanton, Calif.), one of VHA’s regional purchasing coalitions. Barnett previously served as president and CEO of Mercy Medical Center Redding (Redding, Calif.), part of Catholic Healthcare West (San Francisco, Calif.). VHA also promoted John Thomas to the post of senior VP to lead the VHA Pacific Northwest Office (Renton, Wash.). Thomas joined VHA in 2005 as executive director of the Cascade Health Network and was subsequently appointed leader of the VHA Pacific Network in 2007. VHA Pacific Network evolved into VHA Pacific Northwest. VHA West Coast and VHA Pacific Northwest will operate separately, although they will collaborate in regional contracting, business development, education and member networking in order to maximize member value.

The Joint Commission launches Center for Transforming Healthcare
The Oakbrook Terrace, Ill.-based Joint Commission launched the Center for Transforming Healthcare. It will team with hospitals and health systems across the country to use new methods to find the causes of and put a stop to breakdowns in patient care.

Fresenius Medical Care introduces KidneyTel system
Fresenius Medical Care North America (Waltham, Mass.) created the KidneyTel system, a device that combines home telehealth monitoring technology with an integrated care management program specifically tailored to the kidney patient. KidneyTel collects daily vital signs of blood pressure, weight, and blood glucose and transmits this information to the KidneyTel IT system and call center. The KidneyTel clinical team is alerted to identified health risks and trends and can determine an appropriate response with patients. Information is also transmitted to the patient’s dialysis clinic, nephrologist, and other healthcare providers

U.S. Census Bureau projects increase in uninsured
A recent report from the U.S. Census Bureau (Washington, D.C.) projected that the number of people without health coverage in the United States increased to 46.3 million in 2008, compared with 45.7 million in 2007. The report indicates that the number of citizens covered by private health insurance fell from 202 million to 201 million, and those with employment-based health insurance fell from 177.4 million to 176.3 million. The uninsured rate for native- and foreign-born people stayed about the same, at 12.9 percent and 33.5 percent, respectively, and the number of uninsured non-citizens remained at approximately the same level, 44.7 percent uninsured. The number covered by government health insurance jumped from 83 million to 87.4 million.

AHA asks CDC to change H1N1 recommendation
The American Hospital Association (Chicago, Ill.) has asked the CDC Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Atlanta, Ga.) to back off its recommendation that caregivers don N-95 (or higher) respirators to protect against H1N1 influenza. In a letter to John Howard, director of the CDC’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, James Bentley, AHA senior VP of strategic policy planning, urged the CDC to take the advice of the CDC’s own Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee, which recommended that caregivers use standard and droplet precautions, including the use of surgical and procedure masks, for routine patient care of patients suspected of (or confirmed) having H1N1. Bentley said that the supply of N-95 respirators will be rapidly exhausted if they are used as recommended. “In addition, as we’ve seen in other situations of resource shortages, hospitals are already seeing an increase in ‘non-brand name’ N-95 respirators of questionable quality being advertised,” said Bentley.

MAX Online Education launches “Regional Purchasing Coalitions: How Small Systems are Driving Big Share” module
Atlanta, Ga.-based MDSI has expanded its MAX Online Education (MOE) library to include a Regional Purchasing Coalition module. This module helps suppliers/distributors better understand how RPCs can help them reach more customers more efficiently. It covers seven sections from the history of GPO price tiers, how RPCs work, the different types, the benefits and then how to work with them effectively to increase sales. For more information, please contact Jessica Knutson at (770) 263-5268 or jknutson@mdsi.org, or visit www.uslifeline.com and click on the Education tab.

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