Industry News

November 2021 – The Journal of Healthcare Contracting

LifePoint Health, Kindred Healthcare launch new company, ScionHealth

LifePoint Health and Kindred Healthcare announced plans to establish a new healthcare company operating under the name ScionHealth upon closing of their previously announced transaction.

Headquartered in Louisville, ScionHealth will consist of 79 hospital campuses in 25 states, including Kindred’s 61 long-term acute care hospitals and 18 of LifePoint’s community hospitals and associated health systems.

ScionHealth will be led by a management team drawing from both LifePoint and Kindred. Rob Jay, current EVP of integrated operations at LifePoint, will serve as CEO of ScionHealth.

At the close of the transaction, LifePoint will combine its 65+ remaining hospital campuses as well as its network of physician practices and outpatient centers with Kindred’s rehabilitation and behavioral health businesses.

LifePoint will continue to be headquartered in Nashville, and David Dill will remain its president and CEO.

LifePoint and ScionHealth will both be well capitalized businesses focused on growth and grounded in commitments to outstanding patient care and quality outcomes. The companies will have separate leadership and boards of directors.

Each ScionHealth hospital will operate under the same name it does today.

Upon the completion of regulatory approvals and satisfaction of customary closing conditions, the acquisition of Kindred and the launch of ScionHealth are expected to be completed by the end of the year.

Intermountain Healthcare asks Utahans to donate used medical supplies as global supply chain issues cause critical shortages

Yet another sign of the ongoing supply chain issues affecting the world – Intermountain Healthcare, Univ. of Utah Health, Steward Health Care, and the Utah Hospital Association are organizing a community drive to collect gently used medical supplies.

“The COVID-19 pandemic disruptions to the global supply chain is impacting the ability of hospitals to receive crutches and walkers due to an international shortage of aluminum,” Intermountain said in a press release.

“I’ve never seen a shortage of crutches this significant, and normally it’s an afterthought because they’re always so readily available,” said Joey Kamerath, MD, senior medical director of rehabilitation services at Intermountain Healthcare.

Intermountain said the shortage is happening at a difficult time for hospitals because November and December are the busiest time of year for elective surgeries, especially in orthopedics, which often require walk assist devices for recovery.

Once collected, caregivers will sanitize and inspect the devises for safety before being sent to hospitals for use. They will then be given to patients with a note letting them know it was generously donated by someone in the community. All devices that can’t be repaired will be properly recycled.

The donation drive, LeanOnUtah, begins October 30 at several locations around the state. Collections will also occur on November 6 and 13 at the same locations and times.

Vizient announces milestone of 100 million additional units of essential meds through Novaplus Enhanced Supply Program in under two years

Vizient, Inc. (Irving, TX) announced that its Novaplus Enhanced Supply Program has brought 100 million additional units of inventory of essential medications to the supply chain, many of which are used to treat life-threatening illnesses.

The program was launched in 2020 and protects against shortages for these essential medications should a supply chain disruption occur.

The program now includes 79 essential medications and over 300 unique presentations of these drugs. These include antibiotics, blood thinners, certain chemotherapy drugs and medications required in the operating room.

Medications identified as essential by Vizient include acute treatment drugs with no alternatives, chronic treatment drugs with no alternatives and high impact drugs whose alternatives are less clinically desirable.

The Novaplus Enhanced Supply Program provides supply assurance for participating Vizient members through increased inventory commitment from suppliers and members for essential medications. The program proved successful in the spring of 2020 when demand for the sedative propofol, used to treat COVID patients on ventilators, spiked 272%. Through Novaplus Enhanced Supply program, 676,000 additional units of the sedative had already entered the market at the time of the spike. 

Premier, Inc. and Resilinc expand partnership to enhance supply chain visibility, sustainability

Premier, Inc. (Charlotte, NC) and Resilinc (Milpitas, CA), a supply chain monitoring, mapping and resiliency solution, announced a new collaboration with the aim of driving greater supply chain transparency, risk mitigation and business continuity for U.S. healthcare providers.

The Resilinc and Premier initiative expands Premier’s supply chain mapping footprint to encompass more than 1,300 suppliers and 15,000 sites.

Leveraging Resilinc’s Multi-Tier Mapping service will give Premier visibility down to the site, product and ingredient/part levels for its top supplier partners, allowing for greater transparency into potential vulnerabilities to help ensure continuity of supply – a vital capability alongside our nation’s still-limited knowledge on the manufacturing locations and production volume for American drugs and medical products.

Premier will also utilize Resilinc’s RiskShield, which provides comprehensive supplier risk scores based on geographic diversity, recovery time, quality, Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) and sustainability practices, and other key criteria.

In addition to enhanced supply chain mapping and supplier risk assessments, Premier will leverage EventWatchAI, Resilinc’s 24/7 monitoring service. EventWatchAI uses artificial intelligence and natural language processing technology to monitor for over 50 types of potentially disruptive events across millions of news, social media and government agency feeds in 189 countries and 100 languages.

Premier has partnered with Resilinc since 2018, during which time they have collaborated on multiple projects intended to increase the maturity of global healthcare supply chains. Key projects include The Exchange, a cloud-based platform for hospitals to interact with vetted peer organizations to identify, locate and exchange critical medical items, and the Healthcare Transparency Initiative, a first-of-its-kind collaboration focused exclusively on improving transparency and reducing disruptions in the healthcare supply chain. 

Ascension, AdventHealth to unwind AMITA Health Partnership

AdventHealth (Altamonte Springs, FL) and Ascension (St. Louis, MO) announced they are “unwinding” their AMITA Health partnership, the joint operating company the organizations have partnered on for nearly seven years.

Amita Health, a joint venture providing healthcare services to the greater Chicago area, includes 15 acute care hospitals, four specialty hospitals, and immediate and outpatient care centers.

The two organizations said they have determined that “going forward separately is in their collective best interest in order to more nimbly meet the changing needs and expectations of consumers in the rapidly evolving healthcare environment.”

Following the transition, AdventHealth and Ascension will operate their individual hospitals and care sites in the Chicago area. The organizations say there will be no disruption to patient care.

The health systems didn’t provide details about what prompted the decision to split up the partnership.

Warehouse availability fell to record lows in third quarter

Warehouse availability in the U.S. fell to record lows in the third quarter across the country, with industrial space all but disappearing near some of the country’s busiest distribution hubs on the West and East Coasts.

The average national industrial vacancy rate was 4.1% in the third quarter, according to Cushman & Wakefield Inc. The commercial real-estate firm says that this is the lowest it has ever recorded in data going back to 1995.

Real-estate firm CBRE Group Inc. says that the third-quarter demand for industrial real estate exceeded supply by 41 million square feet, pushing the vacancy rate down to 3.6%, compared to 4.3% in Q3 2020, and to the lowest level in data going back to 2002.

CBRE also found the vacancy rate for warehouses near the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, California, reached 1% in Q3. The region’s vacancy rate was 2.3% in the same quarter of 2020, the Wall Street Journal reports.

On the East Coast, the Boston; central New Jersey; and Charleston, South Carolina, markets showed a 1.9% vacancy rate during the quarter, the lowest rates outside of the Los Angeles region.

The woes affecting manufacturing supply chains are also hobbling developers’ ability to scale up capacity faster, says Jason Tolliver, head of logistics and industrial research at Cushman & Wakefield.

“Many clients who are looking to develop, they’re not able to get steel to construct their buildings right now through 2022,” Tolliver said.