The volume of goods and services bought through group contracts rose 14% to $29.1 billion in 1993, according to MODERN HEALTHCARE's annual purchasing survey.
Some 38 groups provided purchasing volume for both 1993 and 1992. Altogether, 50 organizations responded to the survey.
The 10 largest groups reporting data accounted for more than 80% of the respondents' volume. They include American Healthcare Systems, San Diego; AmeriNet, St. Louis; NJHA Group Purchasing, Princeton, N.J.; SunHealth Alliance, Charlotte, N.C.; and VHA, Irving, Texas.
In last year's survey, the top 10 groups represented more than 75% of the volume reported. Then, 42 groups said their members bought a total of $18.5 billion in goods and services through group contracts in 1992, a 16% rise over 1991.
At St. Louis-based Daughters of Charity National Health System, purchasing volume soared 50% to $750 million in 1993, the biggest percentage growth reported. The system is managing a purchasing group recently formed by five Roman Catholic hospital chains. The group, Catholic Materials Management Alliance, awarded its first contracts in July.
Purchases through Cape Girardeau, Mo.-based Health Services Corporation of America rose 29% to $1.8 billion in 1993, and purchases through AmeriNet grew 25% to $2 billion. Both groups significantly expanded services to alternate sites, such as physician offices. Health Services added 252 alternate-site members, bringing its total to 1,238 in 1993, while AmeriNet signed up 227 such members, bringing its total to 1,348.
Purchasing volume at Los Angeles-based Purchase Connection rose 21% to $1.7 billion in 1993, despite an 11% decline in hospital members to 703. Its alternate-site members rose 3% to 851.
Only nine groups reported revenues and profits. They said profits grew 23% to $72 million in 1993, while revenues rose 16.7% to $159.1 million.
VHA, the largest group reporting financial information, said its profits increased 23.6% to $68.7 million in 1993 and its revenues grew 15.6% to $123.3 million. Total purchases through VHA rose 14% to $4.9 billion.
Contracts for medical-surgical supplies continue to be the most widely used. Some 8,379 hospitals bought medical-surgical supplies through groups in 1993, a 2% rise from 1992. The total reported is so high because many hospitals belong to multiple groups. The number of hospitals buying pharmaceuticals through contracts rose 1.9% to 7,239.