Publisher’s Letter

John Pritchard

Five Predictions for 2018      

End-of-year columns are always fun because you can re-cap the best stories. However, this year I am going to make some bold predictions. Here are five things I see happening in 2018!

  1. A supplier will be named in a major hospital/IDN cyber security breach. I can see this coming a mile away. Everything is on the network now, from hand hygiene to vitals reading hospital beds. And everything is wired. The GPOs seem to be really spearheading the cyber security discussion, but my gut tells me we have a long way to go.
  2. Amazon will buy an interesting business. Maybe a national distributor, GPO or even a hospital. Amazon has a ton of money and is looking to change things. I can see them entering the market from a position no one sees coming. Can you imagine going to Amazon General Hospital to have your knee done, and by time you get home, your meds, cane, walker and supplies are already there? Then, your insurance company gets one bill?
  3. A major GPO will be bought. I think more consolidation among the national and large regional GPOs is not done. I can see there being one more big GPO deal, not as big as MedAssets being bought by Vizient, but I think this time next year there will be one less GPO.
  4. A major payer will make a meaningful move into providing care. We have seen IDNs start and/or buy health plans. But now, their interest seems to be waning. This coming year, I see one of the big payers – or their subsidiaries – buy or start physician practices and/or hospitals. A payer-initiated entree into providing care may be the next great experiment.
  5. An IDN will buy by specification. Maybe they will source gloves direct from Asia, or send a design specification to an orthopedic supplier. Some of the IDNs are big enough and have enough consensus of their clinicians that they can define what quality and features they need for a product. They will cut out a couple steps in the supply chain to enjoy the savings.

Wishing all of you happy holidays, and a happy New Year!

John Pritchard

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