Contracting News May/June 2005

Electronic bidding system promises greater invoice accuracy
Amerinet has instituted an electronic bidding system for pharmaceuticals that it hopes will result in greater invoice accuracy for its members. At press time, the St. Louis-based GPO had solicited bids online for about 22,000 line items from 155 manufacturers. Amerinet’s system allows manufacturers flexibility on how products are priced, says VP of pharmacy Allen Dunehew. The system uses the Global Location Number (GLN) system, a standard means of finding legal identities, trading parties and locations by the Uniform Code Council. The new electronic system is integrated with Amerinet’s automated systems for contract management, item master management and electronic catalogs.

GE wins HPG contracts
HPG, headquartered in Brentwood, Tenn., awarded GE Healthcare in Waukesha, Wis., three contracts to provide HPG members with access to GE Healthcare’s advanced imaging technologies. The three-year contracts cover mammography, ultrasound, CT, MRI, PET/CT, nuclear medicine, angiography labs, cardiac cath labs, portable and general X-ray, and radiography and fluoroscopy systems. The contracts went into effect April 1. The new agreements add to the existing products and services that GE already supplies to HPG members under previous contracts.

CrossWalk tool introduced
Alpharetta, Ga.-based MedAssets has introduced a new electronic product, CrossWalk, which links a hospital’s or IDN’s charge master and item master, resulting in defensible, consistent markups. Most hospitals manage supply prices through an item master, usually under the control of the materials management department. At the same time, the hospitals charge for services through a separate system, the charge master, based on pricing information from the item master, and reimbursement and payer rules. The charge master and item master are seldom linked, and information is kept current manually. With thousands of items to update, inaccuracies in pricing are commonplace, leading to missed charges, undercharges or overcharges. CrossWalk automatically and continuously pulls the supply cost data into the charge data, assuring the hospital is charging adequately for every item used. MedAssets has about 1 million items in its item master file, with an additional 100,000 in its charge master. Clients send their files to MedAssets for matching.

Owens & Minor names CEO
Owens & Minor, located in Glen Allen, Va., announced Craig R. Smith will succeed G. Gilmer Minor, III, as CEO, effective July 1, 2005. Smith also will retain his position as Owens & Minor’s president. Minor will remain the company’s chairman of the board of directors.

Novation awards Sage Products contract
Irving, Texas-based Novation, the supply company of VHA Inc. and University Health System Consortium (UHC), granted Sage Products Inc. in Cary, Ill., a three-year, dual-source contract to include two of its product lines in Novation’s existing contract portfolio. Effective April 1, 2005, through March 31, 2008, VHA and UHC members will have access to Sage’s Comfort Bath line, including its new I-See-Red Skin Check Guide and Comfort Shield skin cleansing and protecting products.

Publication ranks medical schools
U.S. News & World Report issued its 2005 ranking of the nation’s top 125 medical schools. Harvard Medical School in Boston was ranked No. 1, followed by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in Philadelphia, University of California San Francisco School of Medicine in San Francisco, Duke University School of Medicine in Durham, N.C., University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle, Stanford University School of Medicine in Stanford, Calif., University of Michigan Medical School in Ann Arbor, Mich., and Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York.

Cardinal Health signs deal with NOA
Cardinal Health Inc. in Dublin, Ohio, signed a three-year, preferred-distribution agreement for oncology products with National Oncology Alliance, located in San Rafael, Calif., which is owned by San Francisco-based Broadlane Inc. NOA’s 3,500 physician members will have access to ordering and reporting capabilities through Cardinal’s Health Specialty Pharmaceutical Distribution group. As part of its commitment to the oncology industry, Cardinal offers professional and patient education programs consisting of the latest information on oncology treatment, therapies and reimbursement issues.

St. Jude Medical Center to expand ER
St. Jude Medical Center in Fullerton, Calif., plans to expand its virtually paperless emergency department from 31 to 50 beds, beginning in 2006. During the construction, the hospital plans to add a computerized drug order entry system to the emergency room. The system allows physicians to check for medication interactions and check dosages. The emergency department is also preparing to apply for the designation of “stroke center-receiving center,” which will make it the third facility in California to have the title. St Jude’s emergency room is on track to treat 49,000 patients in 2005.

Hill-Rom installs beds in North Shore-Long Island Jewish hospitals
Indiana-based Hill-Rom installed more than 1,600 “smart” beds at seven hospitals in the North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System, headquartered in Great Neck, N.Y. The health system invested about $15 million in the beds, which are equipped with a scale that automatically computes a patient’s weight, a pressure-relief system and ergonomic headboard and footboard rests.

OSU names Geier CEO
The Ohio State University Medical Center in Columbus, Ohio, named Peter Geier as permanent CEO and VP of health services. Geier served in the positions on an interim basis for more than a year. Under Geier’s leadership, the health system’s revenue increased by 15 percent in 2004, outpacing expenses by $7 million. In addition, a new 100-bed heart hospital opened, and non-labor expenses were cut by more than $5 million.

Allina Hospitals consolidates 300 jobs
Allina Hospitals & Clinics, headquartered in Minneapolis, plans to consolidate 300 jobs in St. Paul, Minn. The system will lease 65,000 square feet in the Westgate V Business Center and relocate 100 jobs from the Court International Building, and 200 jobs from its Minnetonka, Minn., facility.

Elan Pharmaceuticals wins contract
San Diego-based Elan Pharmaceuticals Inc. was awarded a $23,330,495 Department of Veterans Affairs contract for pharmaceuticals. The contract extends from March 15, 2005 to March 14, 2010.

Consorta awards Arizant Healthcare contract
Schaumburg, Ill.-based Consorta awarded Arizant Healthcare Inc. in Eden Prairie, Minn., a three-year, dual-source agreement for convective patient warming systems. The agreement gives Consorta’s member hospitals access to a wide range of products for patient warming, which improves outcomes for surgical patients. Included in the agreement are Arizant’s Bair Hugger therapy and Ranger fluid warming products.

B. Braun provides Outlook Safety Infusion System to university
B. Braun Medical Inc. in Bethlehem, Pa., installed its Outlook Infusion System at Washington’s George Washington University Hospital. The system enhances patient safety by ensuring they receive the correct dosages of medicine at the correct times. It features software developed by B. Braun and Siemens Medical Solutions in Malvern, Pa., that prints and reads bar codes placed on the medication by the pharmacy and automatically programs the pump to the correct drug name, dose and rate.

University pays federal fine
University of Maryland Medical Systems Inc. in Baltimore was fined $250,000 by the U.S. Attorney’s office to settle allegations that it failed to keep accurate records for usage of the narcotic drug OxyContin as required by federal law. About 7,900 pills were missing. In addition to paying the fine, the university must install security systems to prevent future losses of controlled substances.

Verispan rates integrated healthcare systems
Chicago-based Verispan named Intermountain Health Care Inc. in Salt Lake City the top integrated healthcare system in the United States for 2005.ÊOther topÊintegrated healthcare systems are ProMedica Health System in Toledo, Ohio, Sentara Healthcare in Norfolk, Va., Providence Health System in Seattle, Carolinas HealthCare System in Charlotte, N.C., Henry Ford Health System in Detroit, Presbyterian Healthcare Services in Albuquerque, N.M., Sutter Health in Sacramento, Calif., BJC HealthCare in St. Louis, andÊLehigh Valley Hospital and HealthÊNetwork in Allentown, Pa. The ratings are given to systemsÊthat improved outcomes, cut costs by expanding care continuum, and provided betterÊdisease and case management programs.

Bingham Memorial buys birthing center
Blackfoot, Idaho-based Bingham Memorial Hospital’s board of directors approved the purchase of Mountain River Birthing and Surgery Center, a private facility that opened in 2004. Taxpayer money will not be used to purchase the facility. The hospital will move its birthing services to the $4.6 million center to free up space for other services, such as chemotherapy or dialysis.

Cleveland Clinic’s Genomics Research Center to employ 500 people
Ohio’s Cleveland Clinic Health System’s Lerner Research Institute opened a new Center for Genomics Research on April 18. The $44 million, six-story facility will include the Center for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine, the Genomics Institute and molecular genetics research. Two floors are still under construction, and Cleveland Clinic officials hope to have a new chairman of the stem cell center hired by summer. The Center for Genomics Research is expected to employ about 500 people when it reaches capacity in four years.

GHX introduces Web-based My Exchange
Global Healthcare Exchange in Westminster, Colo., introduced My Exchange, a Web-based tool that provides participating hospitals with instant access to real-time order status and information on discrepancies. The tool allows users to quickly identify and resolve any problems that have occurred on orders and can be customized by users for better ease-of-use. In addition, GHX is developing similar one-stop information access to meet the needs of hospital materials managers and accounts payable staff.

Catholic Healthcare West opens orthopedic surgical hospital
San Francisco’s Catholic Healthcare West (CHW) will open the Arizona Orthopedic Surgical Hospital in Chandler, Ariz., in May 2005. The $20 million orthopedic hospital is a 90,000-square-foot building consisting of six operating rooms, 12 in-patient beds, physical therapy facilities and medical office space. The hospital is part of CHW’s $400 million plan for the area. In addition, CHW broke ground for the 120-bed Mercy Gilbert Medical Center in Gilbert, Ariz., and plans to open the hospital in 2006.

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