The VHA hospital alliance said last year was the best ever for its 2,200 member healthcare organizations in terms of cash and value back for their participation in the cooperative's programs, particularly group purchasing.
Checks totaling more than $194 million will go in the mail in several weeks to approximately 475 healthcare systems that are getting distributions and rebates for buying supplies and services in compliance with VHA contracts, officials said.
VHA members saved an additional $957 million through Novation, the joint supply company of VHA and the University HealthSystem Consortium, as well as through initiatives offered only by VHA, such as information technology services and local office programs.
The $1.15 billion in cash and savings represents a 22% increase over 1999. VHA members received or saved $56 for every dollar they spent to be a part of Irving, Texas-based VHA, officials said.
Several factors contributed to the increased savings but "greater compliance is driving most of our growth," said Curt Nonomaque, VHA's executive vice president for business operations and chief financial officer.
The cooperative operates on the fundamental premise that the more members participate in programs, the more opportunity there is for them to cash in on end-of-the-year distributions.
Also fueling the growth is a greater array of services and supplies to purchase as VHA has broadened its portfolio, Nonomaque added. Membership growth also spurred some additional business, although Nonomaque could not say by how much.
Novation manages more than $17 billion in healthcare purchases annually, making it the largest group purchasing organization in healthcare, officials boast. VHA members purchased more than $13.4 billion worth of products and services though Novation and VHA business units.