Contracting News – March/April 2009

U.S. DVA to construct new veteran’s hospital in Colorado
Washington, D.C.-based U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) announced construction will begin on a new stand-alone, 200-bed veteran’s hospital in Aurora, Colo., by the end of June 2009. Congress authorized $568 million to build the new hospital, which will be finished by 2013. DVA also plans to expand veterans services in VISN 19 Rocky Mountain Network (Glendale, Colo.) with two new health care centers, one in Colorado Springs and one in Billings, Mont., as well as eight new rural health care sites throughout the region.

HHS names Blumenthal as national IT guru
Washington, D.C.-based U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced the appointment of Dr. David Blumenthal as national coordinator for health care information technology. He will assist HHS and CMS (Baltimore, Md.) in how to spend federal stimulus funding to improve the nation’s IT infrastructure. Blumenthal previously served as director at Massachusetts General Hospital’s (Boston, Mass.) Institute for Health Policy, was a senior health care advisor in President Obama’s campaign, and is a former Harvard Medical School (Boston, Mass.) professor.

Novation endorses GS1 Global Supply Chain Standards
Irving, Texas-based Novation LLC endorsed the GS1 Global Supply Chain Standards in healthcare. The GS1 Global Supply Chain Standards include the Global Location Number (GLN), the Global Trade Identification Number (GTIN) and the Global Data Synchronization Network (GDSN). The health care provider benefits of implementing global data standards in healthcare include the following: reducing medication errors through efficient automatic identification; accurate traceability of products and devices throughout the supply chain; reducing manual documentation; cost reduction through increased supply chain efficiency; improved order and invoice processes; and increased productivity. Novation will implement standards adoption according to the following timeline:

  • 2009 – UHC and Novation will work with early adopters of the GLN, the GTIN and the GDSN and will accept GLN for all hospital product procurement, sales reporting and rebates.
  • 2010 – By Dec. 31, 2010, all manufacturers must use a GLN, because custom account numbers will no longer be accepted. Hospital members can order their products with a GLN and all sales reporting and rebates will be paid with a GLN. GTIN’s will be accepted but not required.
  • 2011 – UHC and Novation will continue to enforce the use of the GLN. GTIN’s will be accepted but not required.
  • 2012 – By Dec. 31, 2012, custom product numbers will no longer be accepted and GTIN’s will be required.

Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital opens advanced NICU
Cleveland, Ohio-based Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital, part of Cleveland, Ohio-based University Hospitals, opened its new $25 million Quentin & Elisabeth Alexander Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). The new NICU, advertised as “the most technically advanced NICU in the world,” features green building materials and the most high-tech equipment in neonatology, including the first procedural bed for babies, wireless communication to connect staff and infants, baby cameras on each of the 38 incubators, enhanced imaging at the bedside for X-ray viewing, and a surgical operating table developed for preemies and newborns, designed by Rainbow staff. The NICU provides a homelike environment, decorated in soothing nature themes, and individual rooms with sleep accommodations allow parents to stay with their infants 24/7. The new NICU is a major component of University Hospitals’ Vision 2010 strategic plan. The NICU is named in recognition of a $10 million gift from The Elisabeth Severance Prentiss Foundation, founded by Quentin and Elisabeth Alexander.

Amerinet launches Amerinet Quality Solutions
St. Louis, Mo.-based Amerinet Inc. launched Amerinet Quality Solutions, a comprehensive set of tools that help facilities to reduce healthcare costs and improve healthcare quality and safety. This comprehensive portfolio provides access to significant savings on all segments of healthcare purchasing related to quality and patient safety needs, including wound care and pressure reduction products, infection control products and medication safety systems. Amerinet QualityScore, an on-site quality and regulatory compliance assessment, is focused on document and policy and procedure review, clinical patient safety and quality, environmental and product selection assessments. Amerinet QualityTouch offers access to resources that include a Web site and monthly newsletter that help users to meet performance goals, and provides a practice repository with practice protocols that helps users to customize best practices. Regional groups consisting of quality, patient safety, risk management, regulatory affairs and nursing executives provide a forum for discussion of concerns or issues. Initial implementations of Amerinet Quality Solutions at member facilities have proven extremely successful

In the January/February 2009 issue, The Journal of Healthcare Contracting published outdated information about the revenue-cycle-management services that VHA offers its members. The following information was provided by VHA:

VHA reports it is further integrating its revenue management program into its overall supply chain offering, allowing members to address revenue cycle through the following services:

Consulting Services – Programs offered through VHA consulting, as well as external partnerships, are designed to help members pinpoint methods of optimizing performance across the revenue cycle management continuum.
Contracting Solutions – VHA helps members manage the complete continuum of the revenue cycle process by providing access to technology and services to assist in achieving financial goals.
Networking and Education – VHA leverages the knowledge across its 1,400 hospitals to share best practices, recent successes and education around revenue cycle management. Through networking, members work together around specific revenue management issues with a common goal of learning from one another’s current situations, creating more streamlined processes and enhancing suppliers’ contractual commitments.

About the Author

Contracting News
For daily contracting news sent directly to your inbox visit and hit subscribe.