Publisher’s Letter July/August 2007

“10” Unique Perspectives

In this issue we have one of my favorite features of the year, the “10 People to Watch in Healthcare Contracting.” Every year, we do this feature and ask the participants pretty broad questions about what they think is good or bad about our market and industry, and where they see things going in the future of healthcare contracting.

This year, one of the questions we asked was; “What is the most challenging project you worked on in the past 12 months?” The replies caught my attention.

  • Dan McDow of Iowa Health System has been busy opening a new central laundry plant and implementing a new MMIS.
  • Tomi Ryba has spent a great amount of time on dealing with capacity constraints at UCSF Medical Center.
  • Larry Fogarty from Methodist LeBonheur Healthcare implemented a reimbursement based strategy for contracting for orthopedic and cardiology products.
  • Pam Scagliarini from Yale New Haven Health System has focused her time on leveraging capital purchases at her IDN.
  • Nancy LeMaster of Barnes-Jewish has been focused on electronic connectivity. She believes the better data their frontline managers use, the more consistent their contracting initiative will become.

It’s amazing how unique IDNs are from each other. It seems like no two face the same challenge at the same time. A few common themes do come up, however, most notably dealing with standardization of high physician preference items and making sure costs and quality of outcomes are measured. But for the most part, their imperatives are very different.

With all of these participants having such varied challenges, it’s telling us that there is a real opportunity for IDNs to share best practices more effectively. Think of how many value analysis committees have evaluated certain products, devices or equipment to come to the same or similar conclusion.

To see who the other “10 People to Watch” are, and what they have to say, turn to page 18. I think you will find their take on our world very interesting.

About the Author

John Pritchard
John Pritchard is the publisher of The Journal of Healthcare Contracting.