But not every organization has the capacity to adopt sophisticated purchasing strategies that require data, buy-in from physicians and clinicians and investments in supply-chain staff and technology. In a recent report, Standard & Poor's analysts said the next level of savings for hospitals is “potentially unachievable.”
Some health systems will continue to look to greater economies of scale as their preferred method for reining in spending. Tenet Healthcare Corp., which recently completed a $1.8 billion acquisition of Vanguard Health Systems, is evaluating how to merge the organizations' supply-chain operations while at the same time maintaining cost-cutting initiatives already in place.
“It is up as us as stewards of the supply chain, which is a very large chunk of expense within Tenet, to make sure that we are driving costs out, maintaining quality and engaging our end-user clinicians,” said Richard Yonker, Tenet's vice president of corporate sourcing and supply chain management.
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