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How to Lower Supply Spend in Surgery Centers: Q&A With Chris Klassen of Surgical Care Affiliates

Vice President of Supply Chain for Surgical Care Affiliates Chris Klassen discusses the most important factors for lowering supply costs at surgical facilities. He will be expanding on these themes in an upcoming webinar on Tuesday, July 30 titled "What Can You Do On Monday to Lower Supply Costs." Click here to learn more and register for this free webinar.

Q: What are the biggest drivers of excessive supply spend for providers?

Chris Klassen: For many facilities, the key driver is actionable data. In order to control costs you must first know where you are spending money and then you have to make informed choices in order to improve. Excessive supply spending most likely occurs where data is vague or missing. Examples of missing data include: purchase history, contract compliance, inventory, price assurance (PO matches contract and invoice) and case costing. Without this data, making informed decisions and guiding staff and surgeon utilization behavior is very difficult.

Q: Why is it important to keep these costs under control?

CK: Supplies typically makes up 30 percent of ASC expenses. Supply cost control can be the difference between being profitable and unprofitable on cases.

Q: What is the number one thing providers should do consistently to control supply spend?

CK: Improve awareness and take action. Knowing where you spend your supply dollars, prioritizing cost control efforts, effecting behavior with staff and surgeons, and ensuring discipline in managing purchases are great steps to controlling costs.

Q: What is the first step in getting surgeons more involved in supply chain cost management?

CK: Sharing accurate information and cost data. Many surgeons are not aware of the cost of items and the impact on cost per case. Identifying surgeon cost champions within your facility is also key. Peer to peer discussions regarding products and changes is the most effective way to lower cost on preference items.

Q: How will lowering supply spend positively impact a provider's bottom line?

CK: Lowering supply spend has a direct impact on the providers bottom line. Often, every dollar saved contributes to profit margin improvement.

Mr. Klassen will expand on these ideas in a free webinar on July 30, 1:15 PM-2:15 PM CDT. Click here to learn more and register.

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