HealthTrust University Conference and Vendor Fair

Thriving through total cost management

The theme of the 2014 HealthTrust University Conference & Vendor Fair Recap – “Thriving in Tough Terrain: Trust Your Guide” – reflected HealthTrust’s year-long survivor advertising campaign that marked the launch of the organization’s Total Cost Management service lines, accessible by clients outside of a full GPO relationship.

The campaign as well as the conference focused on the unique challenges of the healthcare reform environment and HealthTrust solutions for navigating the difficult terrain, according to HealthTrust, which is commemorating its 15th anniversary this year. Those services available outside of a full GPO relationship include purchased serviced custom contracting (ServiceTrust), medical device sourcing (SourceTrust), indirect spend contracting (CoreTrust), and supply chain optimization (SolutionsTrust).

Approximately 1,800 members and 1,400 vendors (representing 318 vendor companies) attended the conference at Gaylord Opryland Hotel & Convention Center in Nashville, Tenn.

The high-value integrated delivery system
HCA Chief Financial Officer William Rutherford shared macroeconomic trends exciting the debate over healthcare reform, ways providers are preparing for the impact, and how HealthTrust is positioned to help its members thrive as care managers, according to the organization. Rutherford presented health spending metrics and discussed other factors driving healthcare utilization, and questioned whether improved cost trends over the past several years can be maintained given healthcare reform and an aging population.

“Those systems that can align their delivery network with the value proposition being sought out by the sponsors of healthcare will succeed in the future,” said Rutherford. “Those who don’t, will not survive.” The marketplace will search out and reward high-value integrated delivery systems that include service lines organized around patient conditions, a focus on the consumer experience and outcomes measurement and cost for the entire patient encounter.

“Our industry is evolving at a rapid pace, and I am profoundly honored to lead this organization in response,” Rutherford said. “Together we have built the best model and recruited the best expertise to serve as a trusted guide. We are transforming the GPO value proposition through total cost management and delivering that value with a focus on operational excellence.”

Rutherford also addressed HealthTrust’s early summer acquisition of Cardiac Data Solutions.

“Increasingly, providers are requesting help in the area of clinical data analysis and benchmarking as they address all dimensions of cost management,” he said. “Clinical and operational data enables physicians and hospital leaders to make more informed decisions to improve clinical and financial outcomes. By comparing hospital and clinical data to national and regional benchmarks, service providers are able to obtain actionable data, which can be used to improve the quality of care provided to patients and reduce costs and lengths of stay. HealthTrust is excited to now offer this enhanced capability as part of our suite of total cost management solutions.”

At the time of the acquisition, HealthTrust said it would rebrand the services previously provided by CDS to reflect its more comprehensive offerings that will be available in cardiovascular, orthopedics and spine, as part of the medical device custom sourcing and consulting services currently marketed under SourceTrust.

“As we commemorate the 15th anniversary of HealthTrust, thanks to each of you who are part of the 1,400 member facilities who make up our history, our present and, we hope, our future,” he said. “We’re proud of the relationships we have developed with members and the supplier community through the years, our unique model, operator advantage, expanding capabilities and perhaps, most proud of our cultural alignment around execution and continuous improvement to serve you better.”

HealthTrust’s focus in 2015 will be on strategic sourcing, medical device custom contracting, technology, operational excellence and leadership development.

Continuing education
The conference featured 60 education and information sessions with programming targeted to supply chain leadership, healthcare executives, pharmacists and an assortment of clinicians. Continuing education was offered in a variety of disciplines.

General session opening keynote was longtime ABC News correspondent Bob Woodruff, survivor of a 2006 roadside bombing in Iraq, whose overseas reporting has been recognized with the two highest honors in broadcast journalism. A foundation that bears his name is dedicated to ensuring injured service members, veterans and their families can thrive long after they return home.

General session closing keynote (in addition to Bill Rutherford) was Man vs. Wild star Bear Grylls, speaking about his successful climb of Mount Everest, which put him in the Guinness Book of Records as the youngest Brit to do so.

Featured speakers included thought leaders on:

  • Engaging physicians and other key stakeholders in healthcare quality, cost and value.
  • Improvements in diabetes management and care delivery.
  • Conducting pharmacy-based research.
  • New medications impacting healthcare.
  • How the obesity epidemic is changing healthcare.
  • Energy benchmarking intelligence.
  • Data challenges in supply analytics.
  • Impact of environmental purchasing.
  • Healthier Hospitals Initiative.
  • The ROI of mentoring.

In addition, the conference featured:

  • A number of member-led presentations on topics ranging from value analysis to pharmacy cost reduction strategies.
  • SourceTrust subject matter experts sharing an aligned service model for managing patients with cardiac rhythm management devices, HealthTrust analytics for factoring clinical outcomes into the cost equation, and emerging trends in osteobiologics.
  • SolutionsTrust subject matter experts offering insights on removing costs in non-traditional areas of supply chain and shared service consolidation.
  • Leadership and professional development experts Vicki Hess, Tina Thomas and Curtis Zimmerman.

Inaugural Innovation Grant
CHE Trinity Health, Livonia, Mich., was awarded HealthTrust’s inaugural Innovation Grant, established to acknowledge and sponsor supply chain innovation that improves patient care, operational excellence and/or financial performance.

The $50,000 award was provided as a $25,000 grant and $25,000 in HealthTrust service line expertise to support the replication of best practices across the membership. CHE Trinity Health was selected because of its progressive analytics tool that supports system value analysis and supply utilization improvements.

“HealthTrust members comprise some of this country’s most innovative providers, and we are proud to recognize and foster the sharing of those best practices,” said Ed Jones, HealthTrust president and CEO. “We had many worthy applications, which sparked healthy debate among the selection committee. We are proud to name CHE Trinity as our first-ever innovation award recipient and are honored to invest in their truly innovative vision.”

CHE Trinity Health plans to use the grant funds and resource support to improve its reporting tools by increasing product classification and cross-referencing information; identifying total cost and utilization of products per procedure for operating room service lines; and substantially increasing products linked to the patient at case level, reports HealthTrust. HealthTrust resources will be providing support to enhance CHE Trinity Health’s analytics vision and increase its data recognition.

Results of the CHE Trinity Health initiative, along with highlights of other innovations, will be shared in HealthTrust’s member magazine, The Source. In addition, CHE Trinity Health and HealthTrust will share a progress report at next year’s HealthTrust University conference in Nashville, Tenn.

Project team members from CHE Trinity Health include: Scott Gasiorek, informatics director, supply chain; Kelley Young, director, strategic sourcing; Lynne Farkas, clinical resource director, value analysis; Brett Wist, manager, advanced analytics.


Annual Member Recognition Awards

HealthTrust recognized three individuals and eight teams, for a total of 34 people, as part of its Annual Membership Recognition Awards.

Outstanding Member Awards

  • Kent Nance, director of contracting and supplier diversity for Parallon East Florida Supply Chain, Miramar, Fla.
  • Contract Implementation Workgroup, Catholic Health Initiatives, Englewood, Colo. Team members: Shaun Kelly, supply chain director, CHI Nebraska Region; Billy Nelson, director of supply chain technology; Jamie Smigel, senior contracting analyst, Integrated Supply Chain Department; and Barbara Stogsdill, contract manager, Pacific Northwest Region, Integrated Supply Chain Department.
  • Supply Chain Team, Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare, Memphis, Tenn. Team members: Jeremy Cook, corporate director of supply chain management; Andy Cox, corporate director of supply chain management; Larry Fogarty, vice president of supply chain management and CFO of Olive Branch Hospital; Charles Hennesy, manager of the Supply Chain Analyst Group; and Zach Romaine, manager of Pharmacy Supply Chain.

Operational Excellence Awards

  • Christine Gingery, senior sourcing analyst, supply chain, Ministry Health Care, Inc., Milwaukee, Wisc.
  • Supply Home Delivery Team, Trinity Home Health Services, Livonia, Mich. Team members: Denise Daldin, home care and infusion consultant; Patrick Ramsey, director of operations support; Sharon Tullar, non-acute care manager, supply chain.
  • Supply Chain Team, Saint Alphonsus Health System, Boise, Idaho. Team members: Jean Basom, BSN, MBA, regional supply chain director; Donna Bean, MBA, CMRP, FAHRMM, Oregon supply chain director; Blaine Petersen, MBA, CMA, regional chief financial officer.

Clinical Excellence Award

  • Spine Best Practices Committee, HCA TriStar Division – Nashville, Tenn. Team members: Erika Frazier, MBA, HCA American Group lead, Clinical Excellence Facility Interface Team; Greg Mays, director of orthopaedics and spine, HCA TriStar Division; Michael J. Schlosser, M.D., FAANS, chief of staff, TriStar Centennial Medical Center; Stephanie Thompson, PharmD, MBA, BCPS, assistant vice president, Clinical Services Group, HCA.

Social Stewardship Awards

  • Green Team, Hackensack University Medical Center, Hackensack, N.J. Team members: Josh Binn, perioperative materials and support services manager; Richard Killeen, director of purchasing; Geffry LaFortune, senior buyer, purchasing department; Janet O’Dea, senior buyer, purchasing department; Kyle Tafuri, sustainability advisor.
  • Veteran Recruiting Team, HCA, Nashville, Tenn. Team members: Maria Benedetti, vice president of human resources, IT&S and Clinical Services Group; Avery King, lead military veteran recruiter, Executive Talent Acquisition team; Neil Lambert, director of non-hospital recruiting; Sheila Stern, MBA, director of workforce strategy & development, chair of Military Veteran Steering Committee and manager of the American Corporate Partners program.
  • Community Commitment Team, Bigfork Valley Hospital, Bigfork, Minn. Team members: Gail Blackmer, board chair; Linnette Davidson, board member.

Gita Wasan Patel Pharmacy Excellence Award

  • Matthew Clifton, PharmD, director of pharmacy services, Colquitt Regional Medical Center, Moultrie, Ga.

HealthTrust’s 15th anniversary was commemorated with an event held at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum featuring Kix Brooks, Phil Vassar and Charlie Daniels, as well as a number of other local artists and songwriters.