5 Ways for ASCs to Maximize Savings With a GPO

by | Jun 21, 2013

At the 11th Annual Orthopedic, Spine and Pain Management-Driven ASC Conference on June 15, Amy Gagliardi, vice president of supply chain at Regent Surgical Health, explained how ambulatory surgery centers can maximize their savings through a relationship with group purchasing organizations.

1. Understand your spending

It is critical to understand where the money at an ASC is being spent. Run an A/P by vendor report. ASC leaders need to know who they are spending their money with and which vendors are cost drivers. Share this information with everyone at the center. “It is getting harder and harder to find the low-hanging fruit, but if you look at the expenses outside of the medical you can always find opportunities,” said Ms. Gagliardi. It is important to look at the whole picture. Where are the biggest potential annual savings?

2. Find a complementary GPO.

Different GPOs have different strengths. Find one that will complement your center and result in the best possible savings. If your ASC is a bigger center or joint ventured with a hospital, consider joining multiple GPOs. Different departments, such as food service or pharmacy, could benefit from specialized GPOs.

Smaller centers should select a single GPO. “If you are at a standalone center, you need to know if you will have an account representative. This representative should come to your ASC at least two to four times a year,” said Ms. Gagliardi.

3. Evaluate and communicate

The director of nursing, business manager and administrator all need to work together to ensure that everyone at the surgery center understands the impact of costs and savings. There need to be people responsible for communicating with GPO account representatives to ensure the verification of contract connections. “Are you actually capturing the savings your GPO is promising to deliver?” asks Ms. Gagliardi.

4. Keep track of savings.

Ms. Gagliardi explained that surgery centers should either have a software system or Excel spreadsheet in place to track every single item in an inventory. Each item in the inventory management system should be tied to an item number and contract. Careful monitoring ensures that savings will actually be received and any mistakes will be caught.

5. Optimize your GPO profile

The more you get from your GPO relationship, the more savings you will realize. Discuss with your group purchasing organization the option to have access to data intelligence, quality and patient safety information, financial management services, continued education information, IT solutions and Green initiatives.

From: Becker’s ASC Review

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