More Important Than Ever

Even in the new healthcare environment, HealthTrust to keep expanding service offerings

The theme of HealthTrust Purchasing Group’s recent annual conference and vendor fair – “The Stage is Set” – reflected more than the venue’s setting (“Music City” Nashville, Tenn.). Rather, it was meant to reflect HealthTrust’s intention to be more than a traditional GPO for its members.

“The new environment is that providers are going to be paid less, so supply chain is more important than ever,” says HealthTrust President and CEO Jim Fitzgerald. “As a result, they will increasingly need our help on more than supply expenses, and we are uniquely positioned to help, and are responding with additional service offerings.”

The meeting – which featured education as well as musically oriented entertainment – attracted 2,400 members and 1,200 vendor representatives from on-contract suppliers. More than 200 HealthTrust facilities and IDNs held meetings before or after the event.

More than a contract portfolio
At the core of HealthTrust’s offerings is the group purchasing organization, “with member-driven decision-making, compliant purchasing and a national portfolio of unparalleled value,” says Fitzgerald. “Our committed model offers our members a sustainable price advantage no other GPO can match.”

But HealthTrust offers more than a portfolio of contracts, he adds. Additional service offerings include the following:

  • SourceTrust, a custom contracting program for medical devices. HealthTrust aids members with clinical support and a review of new technology.
  • SpendTrust, which provides purchasing analytics and pharmacy analytics with cross-reference databases, price auditing and benchmarking. It is designed to offer hospitals a view of their spending across facilities and multiple IT systems.
  • EnergyTrust, which provides utility bill pay services as well as discounted utility costs in states with deregulated energy markets.
  • AdvantageTrust, designed to offer physician offices and clinics, long-term care and home-health facilities the same pricing and contracts as large member hospitals.
  • CoreTrust, which extends HealthTrust’s group purchasing portfolio and scale to non-healthcare companies.

Parallon Business Solutions
The Nashville meeting gave HealthTrust executives an opportunity to update members and vendors on HealthTrust’s affiliation with Parallon Business Solutions. Launched in May by healthcare provider company Hospital Corporation of America, Parallon was created to offer healthcare providers a range of services – including the HealthTrust purchasing program – that HCA initially developed for its own facilities. Parallon services include:

  • Business Performance Group, designed to provide revenue cycle services, from patient registration to billing, collections, denial management, etc.
  • Supply Chain Solutions, which provides consulting and outsourced supply chain services, including clinical resource management, value analysis, inventory utilization and product standardization, pharmacy order entry, operating room optimization, purchasing, accounts payable and distribution.
  • Workforce Management Solutions, designed to offer assistance with healthcare staffing management, including contingent staffing, recruiting and enhanced productivity and scheduling technology.
  • HealthTrust Purchasing Group.

The Nashville event recognized excellence in supply chain innovation in four categories: operational excellence, clinical excellence, outstanding member and social stewardship.
Individual award winners were:

  • Jack Jensen, Research Medical Center, Kansas City, Mo.
  • Rich Moffat, Vanguard Health Systems, Nashville, Tenn.
  • Peggy Camp, HCA Continental Division, Glendale, Colo.
  • Ken Flood, Community Health Systems, Franklin, Tenn.
  • Lynn Hansen, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, New Brunswick, N.J.
  • Mike Bonck, St. Joseph Medical Center, Tahoma, Wash.

Team award winners were:

  • Paul Wayne Pattengill and Julie Schafer, Ministry St. Joseph’s Hospital, Marshfield, Wis.
  • Laura Archbold, Vicki Garrett, Fiona Jubenville and Gary Ward, Trinity Health, Novi, Mich.

HealthTrust’s transition from a corporate to a regional structure will allow the company to put resources closer to customers, leverage HCA’s expertise and network of resources in local markets, and further support members’ purchasing service agendas, says HealthTrust COO Ed Jones.

“The reality of the new environment is that providers are going to be paid less, so supply chain is more important than ever,” HealthTrust President and CEO Jim Fitzgerald told attendees. “As a result, providers need our help on additional ways to save money and optimize operations.

“We are responding with additional service offerings available through HealthTrust and are excited about the dimension that Parallon Business Solutions now adds to our story.”