HIDA Members And SNS Discuss Preparedness During Streamlining Healthcare Conference

November 2017

HIDA Government Affairs Update

By Linda Rouse O'Neill
Vice President, Government Affairs

In September, more than 900 representatives from leading healthcare distributors, manufacturers, and group purchasing organizations came to Chicago for this year’s Streamlining Healthcare Conference. In addition to discussing leading industry issues, several participants joined representatives from the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) to discuss emergency preparedness.

This meeting is part of HIDA’s ongoing work with SNS to strengthen the healthcare supply chain, and make sure both federal and private sector leaders have an understanding of each other’s capabilities.

HIDA partners with SNS to strengthen public-private partnerships
The purpose of the meeting was to continue the ongoing dialogue between the SNS and our industry to discuss various factors relating to public health emergency response. Topics covered included information-sharing capabilities, current and future processes and procedures, capacity and market availability of needed goods, and potential supply chain vulnerabilities during emergency events.

During this discussion, SNS representatives and HIDA members outlined strategies for identifying weak points in the healthcare supply chain and detailed methods for gathering data from the commercial market to address these concerns. Participants then discussed how these moves would shape SNS decision-making during future public health crises.

Key next steps in this collaboration include expanding industry participation in HIDA’s ongoing initiative with SNS. HIDA will reach out to leaders in other segments of the healthcare industry and will partner with both SNS and healthcare supply chain leaders to identify additional product groups (beyond gloves and needles) whose commercial data can be used to improve decision making during a public health crisis.

HIDA members call on Congress to support public-private partnerships
While HIDA members and SNS representatives had positive reports about their collaboration over the course of the year, federal emergency planners will not realize the full benefit of what the private sector has to offer without key legislative changes.

Specifically, HIDA members ask that certain measures be included when the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act (PAHPRA) comes up for reauthorization next year. Distribution leaders ask that PAHPRA Reauthorization direct resources from the Department of Health and Human Services through SNS to create a commercial “cushion” of key products for preparedness through a private-public partnership. Implementing a product inventory process that determines need, comprehends what the commercial market can support, and identifies gaps is necessary to ensure continuity. During HIDA’s Washington Summit this summer, distribution leaders outlined the following policy principles that can help the federal government make the most of industry experience:

  • Identify key products and understand market capacity to supply these.
  • Vet medical products on key criteria and determine the best solution to ensure ample supply during a public health crisis.
  • Develop an education and communications strategy to foster public-private collaboration.
  • Establish multi-year funding for emergency preparedness.
  • Set aside emergency/contingency funding, so Congress does not need to act every time there is a disaster.
  • Draw on work during the Ebola crisis, particularly hospital tiering, and permanently integrate this into disaster plans.
  • Improve coordination of re-entry with state and local authorities, so that distributors can carry pharmaceuticals and other goods across multiple jurisdictions.

While members communicated these needs during this year’s Washington Summit, it is still important that lawmakers are aware of them as the government responds to the hurricanes in Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico, and as Congress makes budget plans. Do not hesitate to reach out to your elected representatives and share the ways you or your company’s expertise could help during a public health emergency. Feel free to contact us at HIDAGovAffairs@HIDA.org if you have any questions or would like more information.

From http://www.repertoiremag.com/hida-members-and-sns-discuss-preparedness-during-streamlining-healthcare-conference.html