Amerinet Supplier Conference

Proud to be a GPO

ST. LOUIS, MO.- Amerinet is a GPO and proud of it. So says President and CEO Todd Ebert. Yet, even though St. Louis-based Amerinet remains committed to writing competitive contracts, it continues to expand its reach, to become what its executive team calls a “total spend management company.” That means the GPO is renewing its efforts in such areas as construction and capital equipment; and emphasizing the importance of data accuracy with its suppliers, so that members can be assured of getting the prices to which they’re entitled. The organization is also banking on a small army of clinical specialists to move market share for its vendor partners. And Amerinet is working hard to build stronger ties to hospital administrators, something Ebert calls “enhanced C-suite visibility.”

Speaking at Amerinet’s Supplier Forum this fall, Ebert announced that Amerinet had added 91 new hospitals and 138 surgery centers to its membership rolls in 2007, and had re-signed some large IDN customers, such as Scottsdale Healthcare, OSF Healthcare, HRS/Virginia Mason, Stratum Med, WVHA and Support Health. In addition, the company continues to develop regional alliances (the most recent being Amerinet Northeast Alliance, consisting of 27 non-acute and acute-care providers in six Northeast states). But it seems clear that Amerinet expects its greatest growth to occur through deeper penetration of existing accounts. The clinical specialist teams are expected to play a key role in that effort.

Historically, Amerinet has employed about 50 clinical specialists – representing such specialties as pharmacy, laboratory and dietary – to work internally on contracting issues, said Bill Dougal, area vice president of sales. “We’ll continue to enhance the integration of our sales team with clinical specialists,” he said. “You’ll also see in 2008 an enhanced emphasis on the sales function,” he said. “Selling will be something we all wake up to in the morning and look forward to doing. And we’ll look at working closer with our suppliers.”

The year past
In the past year, Amerinet picked up $300 million in sales, reported Ebert. Other developments include:

  • Centralization of the group’s contracting and sales management activities in St. Louis.
  • Continued growth of the Amerinet Clinical Advantage Program, which drives 17 to 26 percent savings on members’ implant costs.