3 Mistakes ASCs Make When Purchasing Supplies

Susan Kizirian, chief operating officer for ASCOA, describes the following three mistakes ASCs often make when purchasing supplies.

1. Failure to trial common items and facing huge resistance to change. Frequently an ASC will see a commonly-used item from another manufacturer at a reduced cost, such as a hand cleanser or non-sterile gloves, and immediately switch without a mini-trial. The trial doesn't have to be a big deal. Just get the item for trial and gather feedback, and then switch to the new item, giving staff and physicians who use the item time to try the new item, compare it to what's currently used and give feedback. Upfront buy-in saves the dollars that overcoming resistance to change generates.

2. Not comparison shopping on a routine basis.
Just because you got a great price for an item doesn't mean someone won't have a better price in the near future. Make a list of the top 20 items you purchase (by dollar amount) and comparison shop those items monthly with other manufacturers/distributors. It just takes a few minutes and you will confirm either that your pricing is still the best, that you need a trial (if considering a new brand) or that you should let your current distributor know it is advantageous for you to purchase the same brand from another distributor for less. This keeps your distributors and manufacturers aware that you are performing your due diligence and are on top of pricing trends and options.

3. Having a short-term purchasing mentality.
ASCs often obtain equipment and instruments for "free" and need to pledge to buy certain amount of supplies at a certain volume and cost. These supplies are marked up to cover the cost of the technology; ASCs are therefore, in essence, buying the "free" equipment or instrument. More often than not, buying the technology and then purchasing the disposable supplies at a lower cost is more cost-effective over the long term.

Learn more about ASCOA.

Read more guidance from the ASCOA leadership team:

- Guidance to Calculate OR Utilization Costs and Reduce Them

Growing Your ASC, the Path of Least Resistance: Top 4 Easiest Specialties to Transition Into an ASC

5 Ways ASCs Lose Money

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