Group Purchasing Sector Promoting Innovation and Access to New Health Care Products and Technologies

The Group Purchasing Organization sector is implementing policies that encourage healthcare innovation and provide access to new products and technological breakthroughs – that’s the key finding from the 12th Annual Report from the Healthcare Group Purchasing Industry Initiative.

  • GPOs are implementing policies that encourage health care innovation and provide access to new products and technological breakthroughs. 
  • To read the report, click here. To view the HGPII website, click here.

The report finds that GPOs have formal processes in place that allow them to evaluate and enter into contracts for innovative products and services throughout the year. Based on surveys of its member organizations, HGPII finds consistent anecdotal evidence that new products are being brought to market and made nationally available more rapidly as the result of inclusion by GPOs. Three of the success stories HGPII has identified include:
  • Health Trust sponsors an annual Innovation Summit which is widely attended, providing suppliers with an avenue to introduce new technology products related to patient care, information technology or supply chain management. The organization places a premium on developments that promote improved clinical outcomes and patient care.
  • Vizient conducts an Innovation Technology Exchange which attracts a wide vendor participation and a growing provider audience. The company also maintains a web-based Innovation Technology Exchange, on which suppliers are able to post updated information about new products.
  • Many of the GPOs have a long record of evaluating innovation, and the institutional memory to support complicated evaluation. Premier, for example, has managed its Technology Breakthrough Program since 1997.
The report also confirms GPO organizations participating in HGPII are committed to maintaining the highest ethical and business conduct practices in the healthcare sector.

“We spend time with the HGPII member organizations – through field visits, interviews, questionnaires, and an in-person annual best practices forum – to review their business practices and we’re pleased to announce they continue to uphold their commitment to acting with the highest possible ethical standards and putting best practices into action,” said Phil English, National Coordinator of HGPII. “It is crucial to the broader healthcare system to see GPOs facilitating new products entering the marketplace with fewer delays and costs. In fact, we identified a number of small companies that, without the benefit of employing large sales forces, were able to bring their products to the national market quickly as a result of working with GPOs.”

“As a result of the annual comprehensive review we have done of the companies participating in the Health Care Group Purchasing Industry Initiative, we have determined that these companies continue to demonstrate the highest ethical standards and the best business practices in serving the networks of health care providers. There is much evidence of the effectiveness of group purchasing to accomplish substantial reduced health care costs. The companies in this organization have an impressive record in doing just that. Our review also notes their accomplishments in accelerating the introduction of new technologies and innovations available in the healthcare marketplace,” noted Senator Byron Dorgan, National Co-Coordinator, HGPII. 

The Role of GPOs in Healthcare

Healthcare GPOs are business organizations that pool the purchasing volumes of member hospitals, health systems and other providers like nursing homes, home healthcare agencies, and physicians. GPOs ensure acquisition of the best and most cost-effective products and services, and assist their members in improving quality of care for patients and efficiencies throughout the supply chain. 

Background: HGPII Annual Report and Members

The HGPII report is the product of an ongoing process that involves an individual commitment by each member organization to implement ethics standards, employ best practices in contracting, address vendor grievances, and offer appropriate administrative fee structures. HGPII is managed as an independent institution by Arent Fox LLP, with oversight by key industry leaders.
Nine of the nation’s leading GPOs founded HGPII in 2005 to promote and monitor the best ethical and business practices in purchasing for hospitals and other healthcare providers.
The HGPII member GPOs are: Children’s Hospital Association (CHA), Acurity, formerly known as Greater New York Hospital Association, HealthTrust Purchasing Group, Health Procurement Solutions, LLC (HPS), Intalere, Premier, Inc., Texas Purchasing Coalition, Vizient, and Yankee Alliance.
English and Dorgan are former Members of Congress from the US House of Representatives and the US Senate, respectively, and they co-chair the government relations practice at Arent Fox. Visit the HGPII website for additional commentary from English and Dorgan on this year’s report.

Arent Fox’s Government Relations group will continue to monitor developments in this area. If you have any questions, please contact Philip English, Byron Dorgan, Laura Doyle, or the Arent Fox professional who usually handles your matters.



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