March 23, 2011 10:00 ET

Seventeen Health Care Organizations in Louisiana and Mississippi Form New Gulf States Purchasing Coalition

IRVING, TX--(Marketwire - March 23, 2011) -  Seventeen health care organizations in Louisiana and Mississippi, and a multi-physician clinic, have formed the Gulf States Purchasing Coalition to reduce their supply expenses and improve their operational performance. This group, previously known as the Gulf States Sourcing Collaborative, has transitioned to a purchasing coalition to further aggregate their purchasing volume to achieve greater savings than they could have realized individually.

The GSPC anticipates its members will achieve more than $5 million in identified savings in 2011. These hospitals, all members of VHA Inc., the national health care network, have a projected annual supply spend of more than $650 million.

Working with VHA, the GSPC will act as a single entity in order to drive savings and supply chain efficiency. These hospitals will leverage VHA's contracting support and supply chain expertise to obtain better pricing on aggregated purchases including clinical commodities and clinical preference items.

"After years of successful collaboration, valuable networking with their peers and substantial cost savings, the Gulf States' members are ready to increase their commitment to each other," said Taylor White, senior vice president, SupplyNetworks at VHA. "Through volume aggregation, our members can focus on areas of standardization and establish a dialogue around clinical utilization to identify opportunities for even further cost savings and improved levels of care otherwise unavailable elsewhere in today's health care environment."

As hospitals continue to face heightened pressure to deliver quality care in the midst of rising costs, decreasing reimbursement and increasing competition, many health care organizations are turning to VHA SupplyNetworks™. VHA currently supports 23 supply networks across the nation, where, on average, members save 8 to 12 percent annually through network contracts. 

"Our organization's leadership has consistently recognized the benefits of participating in the Gulf States Sourcing Collaborative, so it was a natural next step to broaden our work and evolve into a purchasing coalition," said Mike Crews, CFO, Singing River Health System. "We believe this will allow all of the organizations involved to further reap the cost-savings and clinical benefits that, in the face of reduced Medicare reimbursements, will enable us to continue to deliver outstanding care to our patients." 

Through participation in a VHA SupplyNetwork, members can:

  • Accelerate supply savings through commitment and aggregation
  • Reduce costs through network participation, operational consolidation and shared resources
  • Decide which supply categories to focus on and which suppliers to choose
  • Establish peer-to-peer connections to rapidly apply best practices and drive innovation

In their most mature form, VHA SupplyNetworks enable members to pursue higher value activities, such as centralized ordering and centralized logistics. VHA also believes supply networks provide innovative platforms for utilization discussions because the collective brainpower enables the hospitals to reach a clinically-supportable consensus about which medical products to buy in order to provide better clinical care. In 2010, supply network members across VHA saved $100 million on top of the purchasing discounts they already receive as VHA members.

The following VHA member hospitals in Louisiana and Mississippi are participating in the Gulf States Purchasing Coalition.

American Legion Hospital Crowley La.
Beauregard Memorial Hospital DeRidder La.
Jennings American Legion Hospital Jennings La.
Lake Charles Memorial Hospital Lake Charles La.
St. Tammany Parish Hospital Covington La.
West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital Sulphur La.
Willis-Knighton Health System Shreveport La.
Anderson Regional Medical Center Meridian Miss.
Delta Regional Medical Center Greenville Miss.
Forrest General Hospital Hattiesburg Miss.
Greenwood Leflore Hospital Greenwood Miss.
Hattiesburg Clinic Hattiesburg Miss.
Memorial Hospital at Gulfport Gulfport Miss.
OCH Regional Medical Center Starkville Miss.
Singing River Health System Pascagoula Miss.
Southwest Mississippi Regional Medical Center McComb Miss.
St. Dominic-Jackson Memorial Hospital Jackson Miss.

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. In 2009, VHA delivered record savings and value of $1.47 billion to members. Formed in 1977, VHA serves more than 1,350 hospitals and more than 30,000 non-acute care providers nationwide, coordinating the delivery of its programs and services through 16 regional offices. VHA has been listed as one of the best places to work in health care by Modern Healthcare since 2008 and one of the best places to work in IT by Computer World since 2007.

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