Trends to Watch

Read the latest issue of The Journal of Healthcare Contracting online? Here are some excerpts


Patti Baran, vice president, health systems, ambulatory care, Cardinal Health, on helping IDNs control their expenditures:


To be profitable in a capitated reimbursement environment, IDNs will have to do a better job of managing chronic disease and keeping patients out of the hospital, she said. “Integration and having supply data across the care continuum are key to making this happen.”

With that in mind, it’s no surprise that healthcare systems are spending more time, attention and money focusing on non-acute-care options, including physician practices and home care. Cardinal is responding appropriately, investing in IT systems, a new web portal and other resources to help ambulatory care customers find cost-effective products, said Baran. The company is piloting a direct-to-patient home delivery program with a Midwestern IDN.

Products and services that can help ease the transition of patients from the hospital to the home, and that can be used in the home without mishap, will be in demand, she added.


Robert T. Yokl, Chief Value Strategist, Strategic Value Analysis® in Healthcare, on unlocking your value analysis savings potential:

My simple answer always is to embrace the four “ Ts” (time, training, teams and technology) to supercharge your value analysis program.  It has been my experience that if the four “Ts” are applied in unison they will be a money-saving excelorator for your value analysis teams.

Tom Charland, CEO of Merchant Medicine, discusses how retail clinics fit into the changing healthcare landscape:

“Two or three years from now, we’ll be in a completely different economic environment when it comes to healthcare, regardless of politics or legislation,” he says. Population management, as embodied in accountable care organizations, will continue to grow. “The purpose of that is to find the most appropriate venue of care given the acuity level of [the patient]. And cost is part of that formula.”

Retail clinics can be part of that accountable care movement, provided they can form relationships with hospitals, physician groups and ultimately, the patient’s medical home, that is, the primary care physician, he says. “The implication is, there is coordination [among various caregivers]. Retail clinics think they can provide services at a higher quality and lower cost than any other place, and that’s what will determine where [various procedures] are done.”

For more, visit to read the May issue of JHC

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