Up for the Challenge

MedAssets Business Summit focuses on succeeding amidst change

Nobody said reforming the U.S. healthcare system would be easy. But it can – and will – be done.

“We knew any reform-related change was going to be challenging,” said John Bardis, chairman, president and chief executive officer, MedAssets, speaking to 4,400 attendees at the organization’s 2013 Healthcare Business Summit in April. “If we can share together and work together, we can succeed together.”

The Summit offered attendees more than 70 educational sessions and multiple keynote speakers. In addition, attendees had opportunities to network, collaborate and share ideas with peers.

“The Affordable Care Act is now the law of the land, tying quality considerations directly to payments,” Bardis said. “The traditional business model to wait and treat people arriving at the door is no longer acceptable or affordable. Each healthcare provider today knows it’s imperative to enhance capabilities to better manage quality, reduce costs and enhance services, but where to focus those efforts?

“Our future requires clear and actionable business intelligence – along with the ability to connect quality and financial data to know where to reduce variability, benchmark productivity and accountability, as well as manage effective care networks. All of this work needs to start now – while experiencing drastic reductions in payment from government agencies and private payers.”

Outsourced procurement
At the Summit, MedAssets announced a strategic partnership with Ariba, an SAP company. The partnership is intended to offer providers and suppliers a comprehensive electronic commerce platform, including requisition-to-purchase-order transmission, shipment notification, invoice transmission and reconciliation workflow automation, expense posting, supplier payment and early-pay discount solutions.

Through the partnership, healthcare providers will be able to conduct fully automated e-commerce with the nearly 1 million companies connected to the Ariba® Network through the MedAssets eCommerce Exchange. Providers will be able to eliminate up to 100 percent of paper invoices received from suppliers using Ariba’s “smart invoicing” applications, which automatically validate supplier-initiated electronic invoices through a provider-managed rules engine and post them directly to their accounting system, according to MedAssets.

Capturing all supplier invoice data electronically for both PO- and non-PO-based transactions will accelerate a provider’s ability to identify and execute upon cost reduction opportunities for all non-labor spend, including purchased services, the organization said.

University Health System, San Antonio, Texas, received the 2012 MedAssets President’s Award. Within one year, the academic medical center saved more than $13 million and realized $14 million in cash flow improvement through a comprehensive advisory services engagement with MedAssets. The multi-pronged engagement consisted of an operational-improvement and cost-reduction strategy focused on process and cultural change in five main areas: clinical resource utilization, labor, purchased services, supply expense and revenue capture.

Meanwhile, Mike Greco, principal and chief sales officer, and Jim Hall, executive chairman, Insurance Point, Salt Lake City, Utah, received the 2012 President’s Award for suppliers. Last year, the company’s efforts helped MedAssets clients save an average of 19 percent on
employer-paid premiums.

Other award-winners were:

  • Cost management innovation: Alameda Health System, Oakland, Calif.
  • Financial improvement innovation: Allina Health, Minneapolis, Minn.
  • Financial improvement process: Cullman Regional Medical Center, Cullman, Ala.
  • Financial improvement leadership award for a community hospital: Hays Medical Center, Hayes, Kan.
  • Financial improvement leadership: Kettering Health Network, Dayton, Ohio.
  • Cost management leadership (community hospital) and excellence in quality, safety and reliability: Maury Regional Medical Center, Columbia, Tenn.
  • Process improvement excellence: Northeast Georgia Health System, Gainesville, Ga.
  • Cost management optimization: Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth Health System, Denver, Colo.
  • Cost management leadership (non-acute-care provider): US Oncology Network, The Woodlands, Texas.
  • President’s Award, Supplier: Mike Greco and Jim Hall, Insurance Point, Salt Lake City, Utah.