March 09, 2010 11:04 ET

More Than 100 Hospitals Established or Expanded Relationships With VHA in 2009

IRVING, TX--(Marketwire - March 9, 2010) -  VHA Inc., the national health care network, strengthened its market position in 2009 by adding new members and expanding the scope of its relationships with existing members. In total, 109 health care organizations initiated or expanded their relationships with VHA last year, including:

  • Billings Clinic, Billings, Mont.
  • Crozer-Keystone Health System, Springfield, Pa.
  • Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital and Dartmouth-Hitchcock Clinic, Lebanon, N.H.
  • Lancaster General Health, Lancaster, Pa.
  • MeritCare Health System, Fargo, N.D.
  • New York-Presbyterian Hospital, New York
  • Premier Health Partners, Dayton, Ohio
  • Scottsdale Healthcare, Scottsdale, Ariz.
  • Sutter Health, Sacramento, Calif.
  • Swedish Medical Center, Seattle, Wash.
  • Tucson Medical Center, Tucson, Ariz.

"Hospitals across the nation are challenged to balance the realities of increasing costs and falling reimbursements while working to maintain the highest level of patient care," said Mike Daly, executive vice president at VHA. "For more than 30 years, hospitals have partnered with VHA to achieve the savings they need to cope with their complex financial circumstances." 

"The people from VHA have transferred their knowledge to our supply chain leaders," said Judy Rich, chief executive officer of Tucson (Ariz.) Medical Center. "Now there is no limit to what we can accomplish because we have a lot of tools at our disposal. Previously, we didn't understand the impact that supplies were having on our organization. It was more about treating patients. Now we do both very well."

"VHA's approach is about improving clinical utilization and patient care through best practices, said Rich Paoletti, vice president of operations at Lancaster (Pa.) General Health. "They are not just about cutting drug expense, but they are looking at the whole clinical cost. VHA helped us specifically identify the savings and then push it into a systematic cost-reduction approach. Bringing VHA in streamlined our processes for identifying and implementing the cost savings initiatives. I think they bring experience to the table and an approach that is worthwhile."

According to Daly, hospitals have reported a range of reasons that made joining or expanding their relationships with VHA a strategic part of their efforts to improve care and increase efficiencies, including:

  • The most comprehensive opportunity to save across all purchasing categories, especially in an area that is the most significant expense driver, medical devices or physician preference items 
  • Analytical tools, like VHA SupplyLYNX™, that enable hospitals to understand how they're spending their money, benchmark performance, gain control over unnecessary spending and pinpoint opportunities to save; and consulting services that help members implement savings programs 
  • Clinical programs that help hospitals address key issues such as reducing readmissions and preventing and minimizing infections
  • Peer networking opportunities with other providers to collaborate and develop solutions to common clinical and operational challenges

"We added new organizations to our roster in 2009, but equally important is the fact that many of our members expanded the scope of their relationships with VHA, beyond our basic contracting services," said Daly. "Hospitals, both large and small want to maximize every opportunity to improve because the pressures are so great. Our mission is to support the success of not-for-profit health care organizations. They are the backbone of our health care system. In light of increasing industry demands and the uncertain outcomes of health care reform, we view our work as more important -- and more rewarding -- than ever."

About VHA

VHA Inc., based in Irving, Texas, is a national network of not-for-profit health care organizations that work together to drive maximum savings in the supply chain arena, set new levels of clinical performance, and identify and implement best practices to improve operational efficiency and clinical outcomes. Formed in 1977, through its 16 regional offices, VHA serves more than 1,400 hospitals and more than 28,000 non-acute care providers nationwide.

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