Hospital supply chain costs are rising faster than labor expenses, and are projected to surpass them by 2022, said Karen Conway, executive director of industry relations at GHX, which works with providers on supply chain management. Yet, many systems lack information on what it actually costs them to deliver care, including how much money is being lost to waste. “Supply chain sits at the intersection of cost, quality and outcomes,” she said. “To do supply chain, you have to have data.”
Supply chain costs represent up to 45% of operating costs for providers, second only to labor, noted Conway, who spoke at a session Monday at the Healthcare Financial Management Association's Annual National Institute in Las Vegas.
Some systems are conducting their own comparative effectiveness studies to better understand their costs and negotiate better prices with manufacturers.
Dignity Health is one of four health systems that are members of a joint venture known as SharedClarity, which focuses on compiling that data. The fifth member is insurer UnitedHealthcare, which has provided its extensive claims data to use in analyzing treatment patterns and outcomes.