GPO Standout – HealthTrust Purchasing Group

How compliant are your members to HealthTrust contracts? How do you measure this? And what are your goals in this regard?
Our members are minimally 80 percent compliant to contract terms. Compliance is reviewed at the facility and IDN level. Our goal is to be 100 percent aligned on clinical decisions, contracting strategy and implementation….to retain our position as the most aligned GPO.

Can you describe HealthTrust’s approach to capital equipment contracting (e.g., reverse auctions, group buys, etc)?
The specific capital approach used depends on the competitive environment, member needs and objectives associated with the project. Group/bulk/spot buys, vendor standardization incentives and other tools are…routinely used for members who make higher-levels commitments. HealthTrust has also managed reverse auctions in-house for over five years…. Other capital programs are HealthTrust price and service safeguards surrounding vendor obsolescence of equipment…. As a result, HealthTrust negotiates replacement product price protection and end-of-life service protections for additional capital value for its members. HealthTrust also looks for hardware price opportunities based on vendor proprietary software and off-the-shelf third-party hardware…. HealthTrust also negotiates pricing arrangements associated with software maintenance, updates, upgrades and support.

Does HealthTrust engage in reverse auctions for non-capital items? If so, to what extent?
We believe that reverse auctions work well in both the capital and supply arena and have managed numerous supply projects in this fashion over several years.

Can you describe HealthTrust’s activities in the following areas:

  • Environmentally responsible purchasing. Our contracting process has a strong focus on both environmentally responsible products. During the RFP process we request information specific to products that are environmentally friendly along with specific disclosures and warranties. We also have carved out language in all of our agreements which allow us to enter into agreements with “niche suppliers” to meet specific environmentally friendly needs of the membership.
  • Support of minority/historically underutilized businesses. Our minority and women-owned business-enterprise (MWBE) program was established soon after the company was founded, and has grown to represent approximately 10 percent of contracted vendors. Our contracted minority vendor spend has had a compound average growth rate of over 20 percent since its inception. One of the HealthTrust programs that facilitate this growth is the Minority Business Carve Out Program. This program allows HealthTrust to add a minority vendor to the contracted area without disrupting the existing pricing and award status for the existing contracted vendors.
  • Making your members aware of – and contracting for – innovative medical technology. HealthTrust has dedicated resources that assist our contracting teams to monitor both long range and short range innovative medical technologies that will have an impact on the healthcare industry. For those technologies that are imminent and available to the market, we have a very defined process by which the suppliers — whether contracted or noncontracted — can submit the necessary clinical/technical, operational, reimbursement and contracting information for review by the relevant HPG boards for consideration. This information and the status of all supported requests are maintained and updated through our members’ website so that members are fully informed about new offerings and evaluations.

Does HealthTrust provide outsourced services to your members (that is, services provided by your organization, not by contract vendors)?

Does HealthTrust provide onsite consulting to your members (that is, consulting provided directly by your organization, not by a contract vendor/consulting firm)? If so, can you describe these activities?
While HPG does not have a formal consulting program or services that it charges for, HPG clinical and supply chain services leaders are available to make site assessments and recommendations, and to facilitate best practice sharing.

Does HealthTrust provide members with access to an electronic exchange, allowing members to order products electronically, check order status, check pricing accuracy, etc? If so, what is it called, and what are its capabilities?
Through GHX, our members can process orders electronically, check their orders and confirm contract pricing. Compared to other proprietary systems that other GPOs may provide, GHX offers broader supplier connectivity and ease of use.

Can you describe the role of member advisory boards in your contracting process?
Clinical Advisory Boards are the cornerstone of our contracting process. All Clinical Advisory Boards follow a rigorous and documented process for collecting member input, conducting clinical reviews, obtaining third-party expert reviews to determine best-in-class products. Our contracting team will only engage vendors approved by the Clinical Advisory Boards.

To what extent does HealthTrust assist members in local or regional contracting?
HealthTrust has a broad portfolio of contracts across all product categories, which precludes the need to execute local or regional contracts for most product categories. However, in the area of medical devices and other physician-preference areas, we do have dedicated resources available to execute and implement local/regional contracts based on the unique needs and desired outcomes of those members. These arrangements are treated as amendments to our national agreement and are maintained and administered by HealthTrust.

Does HealthTrust help members benchmark their clinical performance? If so, can you explain how?
No. Historically our members have wanted us to maintain our focus on core GPO functions in order maximize value to our members. We continually assess services that we may add to our portfolio if our members express an interest.

Does HealthTrust help members benchmark their operational performance? If so, can you explain how?
HealthTrust fosters sharing of best practices via visits, Webinars, annual conferences, etc., where members are encouraged to report on key objectives, metrics and results.

Does HealthTrust offer information systems or reports to help members analyze and improve their supply chain performance (e.g., spending, contract utilization, product utilization)? If so, can you describe them?
HealthTrust offers several reports to help members identify savings opportunities in their purchasing patterns. We use a variety of sources, ranging from a member’s own purchase history to information that we have gathered from vendors and GHX.

Does HealthTrust offer members resources to help them:

Control the cost or usage of physician-preference items? As part of our medical device contracting team, we have resources and tools available to cleanse purchase history data, categorize it, establish base line analytics, identify the range of value propositions available, and ultimately develop a contracting strategy that drives the desired results.
Control spending on labor? No
Create and manage a vendor-credentialing process? No

Can you describe the educational opportunities (meetings, conferences, webinars, on-line training) HealthTrust offers its members?
HealthTrust recently launched HealthTrust University (HTU), which is an online, virtual university that provides best-in-class supply chain management, clinical, professional development and HealthTrust-specific training programs. The charter is to support the continuing education of facility materials management and clinical professionals by offering the convenience of e-training programs, which may qualify for continuing education units. The curriculum is free of charge to the membership. In addition, HealthTrust hosts an annual HealthTrust University Conference, which provides an opportunity for the membership to network with contracted vendors and attend classroom sessions that provide continuing educational credits over several disciplines.

Has HealthTrust’s mission changed over the past five years? If so, how?
Our mission has not changed. Our contracting philosophy of one-price-for-all has proven to be the standard bearer in our industry in providing sustainable price advantage. Our rapid growth and 99 percent member retention rate are a testament to that philosophy and our value proposition.

Finally, how does HealthTrust differ from others in the market?
The alignment of our members – from product selection, to implementation, to compliance – is what makes our model unique. The result is a sustainable economic advantage that is unparalleled in our industry. We are proud to reference our recent partnerships with the shareholders of Consorta and Universal Health Services, who both joined HealthTrust after performing comprehensive due diligence.