Premier, San Diego, the nation's second-largest hospital group purchasing organization, has announced a set of business commitments designed to preserve competition in the medical-supply industry. The commitments come after a congressional antitrust subcommittee hearing on GPOs' business practices and are in addition to an industrywide code of conduct released by the Health Industry Group Purchasing Association. Premier said it would bar upfront administrative or marketing fees from vendors, would contract for physician-preference items only on a multi-source, unbundled, no-commitment basis, and would cap payments from vendors at 3% of a contract's value. In addition, Premier said it would not bundle products from different vendors, would not negotiate contracts longer than three years in most cases and would not run a private-label program. The alliance also agreed to publish an annual report on its performance under the industrywide code and its additional principles. Meanwhile, Novation, the nation's largest hospital GPO, which also was a subject of the congressional hearing, is expected to release its set of principles tomorrow. Click here for Premier's statement of principles. Click here for the industry code of conduct. -- by Susanna Duff
Premier outlines contracting principles
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