Why ASCs Should Expand Relationships With GPOs

In a presentation during Becker’s ASC Review’s 12th Annual Spine, Orthopedic and Pain Management-Driven ASC Conference + the Future of Spine, June 13 in Chicago, Chris Stewart, clinical director of SourceTrust and HealthTrust Purchasing Group and Dwight Tyndall, MD, a spine surgeon with OSNI/Spine Care Specialists in Munster, Ind., made the case for ambulatory surgery centers expanding their relationships with group purchasing organizations.

“The ASC space has grown tremendously over the past few years,” explained Dr. Tyndall, citing declining reimbursements coupled with physicians’ desire to control the patient experience. However, these businesses can be costly, and about 30 percent of this outlay is for capital expenditures, he said.

However, the presenters said participation in a group purchasing organization could help reduce these costs. The large combined purchasing power of a GPO allows even small ASCs to purchase necessary supplies at rates enjoyed by large delivery systems. At HealthTrust, the top five customers have a combined $15 billion in annual spending, “and the rest of the members benefit from that leverage with suppliers,” said Mr. Stewart. 

On average, a new ASC could save up to 22 percent by joining a GPO, said Dr. Tyndall.

Mr. Stewart added GPOs often have the ability to provide participants with data on utilization and waste by the organization, as well as some clinical benchmarking information. They also “take care of the legal and regulatory headache” of signing contracts with vendors, he said. 

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