Q&A with WNC Health Network

On its Regional Purchasing Coalition LinkedIn page, JHC asked readers what successful RPC they’d like to hear from, and what kinds of questions would they liked answered in a Q&A. The following are responses from WNC Health Network’s Tim Bugg, CMRP, Vice President, Member Services, and Mark Landau, VP of Group Purchasing. The following is Part 1. Join the LinkedIn page for the full interview.

 

JHC: How did WNC Health Network get started and what is the composition of your membership?

WNC Health Network: In 1995, a group of dedicated individuals decided to make a difference in healthcare in western North Carolina. They began to identify, explore, and implement opportunities to save money and collaborate among the area’s hospitals and healthcare systems. WNC Health Network, a 501(c)3 corporation, initially included 16 hospitals in western North Carolina. Today, 46 health systems representing 91 hospitals collaborate within the Network. These hospitals are located throughout the Carolinas, southern Virginia, eastern Tennessee, and Pennsylvania. Collaboration started with quality improvement and cost savings. It has developed over time to include a regional health information exchange (WNC Data Link), additional value through group purchasing aggregation, resource management, and sharing best practices, and a focus on population health. Other healthcare partners, along with hospital members, are engaged to fulfill the organization’s mission and vision.

Today’s membership is a diverse group of small, medium, and large health systems in both the urban and rural markets. These members are either owners (the original founding hospitals) or affiliates in the Network’s Group Purchasing program. The Network is comprised of not only Hospital members, but also many continuum of care members including health departments, physician offices, home healths, hospices, surgery centers, and freestanding labs. As well, the Network has found success through its partnership with Premier in bringing cost savings to colleges and universities.

 

JHC: What is the your core value proposition to your membership?

WNC Health Network: See the slides below. These are the building blocks of value and our keys to success

JHC: What advice do you give to suppliers that are contracted suppliers of Premier and want to gain market share with your members?

WNC Health Network: While we’re an independent network, we are very engaged and supportive of the Premier contracting portfolio. We follow the Premier contracting calendar very closely and as they are announced, actually review each month with our Materials Management Advisory Group (MMAG). What I tell the vendors is that in most cases, we will look to take multi-source awards and focus our market share to a limited number of those awarded suppliers. The characteristics referenced below are keys to establishing our relationship in which all parties should benefit: our members, vendor partners and Premier.

 

JHC: What advice do you give to suppliers that are contracted suppliers of Premier and want to gain market share with your members?

WNC Health Network: While we’re an independent network, we are very engaged and supportive of the Premier contracting portfolio. We follow the Premier contracting calendar very closely and as they are announced, actually review each month with our Materials Management Advisory Group (MMAG). What I tell the vendors is that in most cases, we will look to take multi-source awards and focus our market share to a limited number of those awarded suppliers. The characteristics referenced below are keys to establishing our relationship in which all parties should benefit: our members, vendor partners and Premier.

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