Publisher’s Letter November/December 2008

The Good Old Days

What a year 2008 turned out to be. Did anyone see it coming? The credit crunch, raw material costs sky rocketing and the $700 billion federal bailout? As I write this, the Dow is down 37 percent from a year ago!

I’m not convinced any of these issues have run their course. The worst may still be to come. When people look back at 2008, all this pain and angst will be top of mind – and rightly so.

However, when we look back at 2008 and the GPO portion of the healthcare contracting arena, I think we will view it as a great year. The GPOs catapulted into a valuable partnership position with their hospital owners and members.

You see how GPOs have driven financial performance for members by implementing revenue cycle management processes that could make the difference between financial survival and demise. GPOs are leading the way with mind boggling research of care practices of clinical outcomes, connecting the dots for clinicians so they too see how their care directly impacts the entire organization.

I did a comprehensive survey of 290 supply chain executives this summer, and a couple of the results jumped out:

  • 87 percent of respondents were somewhat or very satisfied with their GPO.
  • 70 percent of respondents plan to increase their purchases of GPO contracted supplies and services in 2009.

With such a high satisfaction rate and intention to increase purchases, it’s easy to see why contracted volume continues to increase by billions of dollars each year. It is nice to see a segment of our healthcare network continuing to add value for hospitals and being appreciated for the innovation, ingenuity and just plain hard work.

To all of our loyal readers and advertisers, best of luck in 2009! I hope it is all you wish for and more.

About the Author

John Pritchard
John Pritchard is the publisher of The Journal of Healthcare Contracting.