Contracting News Winter 2004

Respironics and Apria Healthcare Extend Agreement
Respironics Inc., of Pittsburgh, Pa., signed a purchasing agreement amendment with Apria Healthcare Group Inc., of Lake Forest, Calif., to extend the company’s relationship through Dec. 31, 2004. The company will be the primary supplier for all bi-level and smart CPAP devices for the sleep apnea market and the single source supplier for all infant apnea and sleep diagnostic equipment. Respironics will also continue to be the shared primary supplier for volume ventilators.

The amended contract awarded Respironics with shared primary supplier status for oxygen concentrators and accessories. According to Respironics, it will not be changing its financial outlook for FY2004 and FY2005 based on the terms of the purchasing agreement amendment. Apria has over $1 billion in annual revenues and serves more than 1 million patients annually. Apria was named the ‘“Best U.S. Home Respiratory Provider,’” by HME News in 2003. Respironics employs approximately 2,900 people worldwide and has manufacturing facilities in the United States and internationally.

Cerner Partners with Ascension Health
Cerner Corp., of Kansas City, Mo., partnered with Ascension Health in St Louis, Mo., to streamline workflow for physicians, nurses and other healthcare professionals through the use of electronic medical records that will track a person’s health history over time and across Ascension Health’s facilities in 20 states. Ascension Health will deploy an integrated IT system using Cerner Millennium. Cerner Millennium shares information through a unified data repository and enables clinicians to electronically access medical records and the latest evidence-based data in a secure environment. Cerner’s agreement with Ascension Health was signed in the fourth quarter of 2003.

Working Values Aims to Improve Grady’s Image, Financial Status
Working Values of Sharon, Mass., a company specializing in business ethics, was hired by Atlanta’s Grady Memorial Hospital to improve the image and financial status of the hospital. Working Values is consulting pro bono for the hospital with the hospital paying for up to $10,000 of the consultants’ expenses. In its effort to improve the hospital’s financial status, Grady eliminated an in-house pharmacy to save as much as $500,000 annually and is now seeking to limit services provided to patients living outside Fulton and DeKalb counties. A toll-free phone number was created for hospitals looking to transfer patients to Grady and screen out patients who aren’t in need of emergency care. Also, effective April 2004, patients from outside Fulton and DeKalb counties must pay for services up front or agree to pay for all non-emergency treatment in installments. Those who lack health insurance or cannot pay for services in installments will be turned away, unless the person can show proof of homelessness.

UNC Health Care Taps Roper as New Chief
The board of governors at University of North Carolina Health Care System in Chapel Hill, N.C., appointed William L Roper as CEO. He will assume the post on March 15, 2004 and will concurrently serve as dean of UNC Chapel Hill School of Medicine and vice chancellor for medical affairs at UNC.
Roper succeeds Jeffrey L Houpt, who announced in May 2003 that he planned to step down. A pediatrician, Roper has been dean of UNC Chapel Hill’s School of Public Health since 1997. A graduate of University of Alabama at Birmingham, Roper earned his medical degree at the University of Alabama School of Medicine, and his master’s degree in public health from the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health.

Cox Health Names Bezanson President and CEO
Bob Bezanson was named president and CEO of Cox Health Systems in Springfield, Mo., replacing Larry Wallis, whose retirement is effective August 2004. Bezanson will oversee the second phase of a major facilities expansion. Bezanson was assistant administrator at Lester E. Cox Medical Center, now known as Cox Medical Centers-North, from 1981 to 1986, and administrator of Cox Medical Centers-South from the time it opened in 1986 until 1995. He has a master’s degree in health administration from the Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis, Mo. Cox Health employs 9,000 people in southwest Missouri and northern Arkansas.

United Surgical to Build New Surgery Centers
United Surgical Partners International Inc., in Dallas, signed agreements with two nonprofit hospital systems to build and manage surgery centers. United Surgical will develop and build an on-campus ambulatory surgical center as part of a joint venture with Mary Immaculate Hospital in Newport News, Va., which is owned by Bon Secours Health System Inc. of Marriottsville, Md. This project is the first partnership between United Surgical and Bon Secours, which operates 24 hospitals on the east coast.
United Surgical completed a joint venture agreement with Providence Health System in Seattle to build an on-campus surgery center at one of Providence’s hospitals and will develop a second facility in California in 2004. Providence operates 19 hospitals on the West coast. Terms of the agreements were not disclosed.

U.S. Army Seeks Source to Provide Pulse Oximetry Sensors
U.S. Army MEDCOM Contracting Center North Atlantic in Washington, D.C., issued a Sources Sought Notice W91YTZ-0402TRBO, which was due January 23, 2004, seeking potential sources to participate in the regional standardization of pulse oximetry disposable sensors for TRICARE-01 – Northeast Region in Washington, D.C. Vendors must be able to provide a full line of product, meet regional product volume requirements and conduct training. Vendors are required to possess a Distribution and Pricing Agreement with the Defense Supply Center in Philadelphia and distribute products through the DSCP Prime Vendor program.

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