April 13, 2009 11:00 ET

VHA's Texas Purchasing Coalition Saves $10.5 Million in First Year

Decreased Supply Costs Promote Financial Stability for Hospitals

IRVING, TX--(Marketwire - April 13, 2009) - VHA Inc., the national health care alliance, today announced that its Texas Purchasing Coalition (TPC) has saved member hospitals $10.5 million in 2008, in its first operational year. The TPC members represent more than $600 million in purchasing volume. The savings achieved are expected to grow in 2009 as members pursue additional opportunities.

Comprised of 14 in-state hospital systems, the coalition operates as a single procurement unit, purchasing commodities, clinical preference and physician preference supplies. The members of the Texas Purchasing Coalition are members of VHA Inc. and its regional arm, VHA Texas, Inc.

"In 2007, we developed the TPC's strategy, structure and governance in hopes of maximizing our supply chain economics. Looking back, I can say this was both an evolutionary process and a testimony to the team's ability to work together to drive mutually beneficial economic and clinical results that support our members' needs," said Keith Ernst, vice president for VHA Texas. "In 2008, we rapidly increased our pace and intensified our efforts by pursuing multiple committed initiatives. Our members recognized how much the coalition's teamwork facilitated achieving significant cost-savings. Additionally, we were able to improve the member's financial performance while preserving quality patient care."

TPC members:

Baptist St. Anthony's Health System,    St. Joseph Health
 Amarillo                               System, Bryan
Community Hospital Corporation, Plano   Scott and White, Temple
Hillcrest Health System, Waco           Shannon Health System, San Angelo
King's Daughters Hospital, Temple       Tomball Regional Medical Center,
Medical Center Hospital, Odessa         Trinity Mother Francis Health
                                         System, Tyler
Midland Memorial Hospital, Midland      United Regional Health Care System,
                                         Wichita Falls
Richardson Regional Medical Center,     Wilson N. Jones Medical Center,
 Richardson                              Sherman

"We are all very pleased at the Texas Purchasing Coalition's considerable success during its first year," said Mark Grove, associate executive director, supply chain and alliance services at Scott and White Healthcare System, Temple, Texas. "This collaboration allows us to retain our status as independent hospitals. However, because we have united as a single procurement unit and have committed volumes, we can optimize our supply chain purchases."

VHA supports a variety of regional purchasing structures. Some of them are formalized into participant-owned limited liability corporations that share operational elements including logistics, procurement and distribution. Less formalized but equally cost-effective initiatives include purchasing coalitions like the TPC.

About VHA Inc. -- VHA Inc. is a national alliance of leading not-for-profit health care organizations that work together to improve the health of the communities they serve. VHA delivers industry-leading supply chain management services and enables regional and national member networks to improve clinical and operational performance, and drive sustainable results. Based in Irving, Texas, VHA has 16 local offices serving more than 1,400 hospitals and 23,000 non-acute health care organizations across the United States.

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