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Top 3 Takeaways from the Fall 2018 IDN Summit

September 24, 2018 BY Brian Gleavy, Director of Business Development

Top 3 Takeaways from the Fall 2018 IDN Summit

Like group purchasing organizations (GPOs), Integrated Delivery Networks (IDNs) are able to leverage their size to negotiate with suppliers to lower costs for member facilities. According to Definitive Healthcare's hospital data, more than 76 percent of U.S. hospitals reported IDN membership.

Earlier this month, my colleagues and I attended the IDN Summit and Reverse Expo in Phoenix, AZ. Both presenters and attendees discussed how clinical integrations, physician engagement initiatives, and GPO acquisitions affect health system purchasing and supply chain management. Whether discussing clinical integration, physician engagement, or data analysis, providers are concerned with IDN supply chain spending.

1. Clinical Integration

Healthcare providers are increasingly held responsible for patient outcomes, including lower readmission rates. This could lead to an increase in spending on physician preference items and diagnostic tests, neither of which would necessarily improve patient care quality or satisfaction. Recently, IDNs have shown improvement via comprehensive data sharing, as well as by leveraging bundled payment reimbursements -- including participation in value-based care initiatives. Incorporating clinical data into supply chain management allows IDNs to be transparent about operating costs by inviting clinician engagement.

2. Physician Engagement

Industry experts believe that involving physicians in purchasing decisions will reduce unnecessary variation in cost and supplies purchased. Provider input also enables IDNs and member facilities to set objective purchasing guidelines based on what medical devices, pharmaceuticals, and other supplies are actually necessary. Seeking provider feedback also allows those making purchasing decisions to evaluate new technology more effectively by keeping communication open with the staff members using new medical devices most frequently.

3. IDN Consolidation

Since the beginning of 2017, mergers and acquisitions have dominated healthcare industry news. IDN and GPO consolidation has impacted suppliers' adaptability as well as that of providers and care facilities. One of the most controversial trends is IDN acquisition of GPOs. Experts fear that continued mergers of this variety will lead to purchasing conglomerates that control the prices set by suppliers across the industry. This could have the most pronounced effect on smaller and independent healthcare facilities, which are less likely to be affiliated with an IDN and therefore would not receive the pricing benefits of member facilities. 

Growing industry competition combined with the continual addition of cost-saving initiatives from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has industry leaders, including IDN and supply chain executives, eager to find ways to improve efficiency without sacrificing performance.

To learn more about how to sell into the complex IDN landscape, reserve your seat at our upcoming webinar. John Pritchard, President of Share Moving Media, and Ken Murawski, President of Healthcare Links, will share their collective 60+ years of knowledge with attendees looking to work with healthcare IDNs and GPOs. Participants will leave this webinar with actionable insights, including new selling strategies, use cases, and an exclusive ebook download. Reserve your spot today!