Publisher’s Letter

John Pritchard

My Top 5 Hopes for 2019

In years past I have done predictions for a new year. For 2019, I am going to change it up a little and switch from predictions to hopes.

  1. Cybersecurity is here to stay. Everything is on the network today, from handwashing technology to coffee machines to wearables and devices. I hear so much concern and angst about the terms and conditions that cybersecurity adds to the contracting process. Hopefully, some governing body or association will get involved and help trade partners implement a best-in-class practice and protocol for stakeholders to follow.
  2. Risk-based contracting has a bright future in healthcare, and can be the next great iteration to create substantial value in the contracting arena. I’ve often asked Supply Chain Leaders and Suppliers for examples of risk-based contracts they have in place, and the examples to date have been underwhelming. It is my hope that in 2019 we start to see some meaningful collaborations that demonstrate the possibilities that risk-based contracts can bring.
  3. Purchased services has been high on many Supply Chain Leaders’ radar for the last few years. I worry there has been a lot of talk about reigning Purchased Services in, but the progress has been underwhelming. My hope is that we start to see meaningful progress in this area by some of the marquis IDNs, and that they share their stories. There is no better way for IDNs to launch a meaningful initiative than by using a roadmap from a best-in-class system.
  4. Career laddering is so important to Supply Chain departments for successful secession plans. With 3-4 generations in the workforce, it is more important than ever to get tomorrow’s leaders engaged today, and career laddering is a great way to do that. My hope is we see more of today’s leaders mentoring and nurturing tomorrow’s shining stars. Supply Chain Leaders will find this to be a competitive advantage in attracting and retaining the nation’s best and brightest.
  5. Complexity seems to have crept into the contracting process the last decade, as IDNs chase more value. You see this in many ways, whether it’s IDNs starting their own GPO or a distribution center. This gives the IDN more control on what product comes in, but I think an argument can be made that it might increase the cost of doing business for Suppliers to do business with that system. My hope is that we see more collaboration in finding ways to reduce complexity in the contracting arena.

I’d love to hear your hopes for 2019! Thanks for reading this issue of The Journal of Healthcare Contracting!

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