A Meeting Place

Streamlining Expo in Chicago facilitates 1,200 meetings.

December 2018

The Health Industry Distributors Association reports that its Streamlining Healthcare Expo & Business Exchange, held in Chicago this fall, provided “unprecedented collaboration opportunities” among healthcare supply chain trading partners. Some 900 participants from healthcare distributors, manufacturers, GPOs, and health systems took part in more than 1,200 meetings in two and a half days.

At the event, Mark Hineser, owner of Eco Sound Medical Services, was installed as 2019 Chairman of the Board of Directors for HIDA. He was introduced by current Chairman Chris Kerski, Cardinal Health, and will begin his one-year term Jan. 1.

To strengthen coordination between distributors, manufacturers, and federal agencies, HIDA brought together representatives from the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR/HHS), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response (PHPR/CDC). Attendees brainstormed ways to ensure product availability, particularly during emergencies and epidemics.

During the “Making the Case for Quality Products” session, health system supply chain leaders talked with supplier executives about how they judge quality when it comes to medical products. Despite the growing focus on outcomes, supply chain leaders said their primary focus remains on costs and the measures that contribute to costs, such as patient length of stay.

Participants in the second annual Independent Distributors Summit observed that keeping product information up-to-date in their systems and on their websites can be a full-time job. The prospect of investing in standards, technology, and infrastructure, on top of current product information management (PIM) needs, seems daunting for many, but can yield dividends, according to participants.

Pricing accuracy
HIDA released initial results from its 2018 Pricing Accuracy Survey. For the second straight year, eligibility was the No. 1 chargeback dispute issue. Findings include:

  • More than half of 2017 medical/surgical chargeback disputes were due to eligibility issues, including minimum order quantities not met, referenced contracts not yet implemented, customers and/or products not covered on contract or not yet eligible, or distributors not covered on contract or authorized.
  • Roughly 65 to 85 percent of contract change notifications are communicated via Excel XLS or CSV file. Respondents reported year-over-year increases in EDI communications, however.
  • In the absence of an industry standard, manufacturers and distributors transact with multiple customer identifiers. GPO ID is the most common identifier partners are able to send, followed by the provider internal customer ID.
  • More manufacturers (78 percent in 2017 vs. 70.6 percent in 2016) are aiming to meet HIDA’s 45-day notification standard to distributors for contract changes. The majority of notifications are still received in the 30-to-44-day range, but nearly 20 percent of notifications in 2017 were received with 45 days’ notice or more.
  • Distributor respondents reported that more than $13.9 billion in 2017 chargebacks were submitted to manufacturers. The reported initial denial percentages for these chargebacks ranged between 3.2 percent (reported by distributors) and 5.0 percent (reported by manufacturers), but nearly half of all survey respondents don’t know or don’t measure these figures.

GPO panel
The GPO Panel featured perspectives from Amy Campbell, senior vice president, Yankee Alliance; Bryce Hughes, senior vice president, Alliant Purchasing; and Micah Smith, associate vice president, Provista. Topics included:

  • Self-inflicted errors in contract administration. Customer eligibility and member rostering remain two practices that could be improved across the board.
  • Owned vs. affiliated designations within health systems and IDNs. Open and transparent communication between all parties and to IDNs can help customers understand what is and isn’t covered on their contracts.
  • Class-of-trade standards. Calls in the industry persist for standard definitions of provider customer types and locations. The industry has yet to standardize who customers are (no single customer identification standard), but this remains a separate issue to classify what customers are, whether within contract language or in reference to tier eligibility.

HIDA’s next Streamlining Healthcare Expo & Business Exchange will take place in Chicago, Illinois, Sept. 23-26, 2019.


Pricing accuracy poll

HIDA conducted a live audience poll at its Streamlining Healthcare Expo & Business Exchange in Chicago that addressed its initiative to improve pricing accuracy for trading partners. (Top two responses were included).

Q: Which do you think is the biggest reason for chargeback denials upon first submission?

  • Customer eligibility/incorrect tier: 54 percent.
  • Customer identification: 30 percent.

Q: On average, how much time do you personally spend each week resolving pricing discrepancies?

  • Minimal to three hours: 42 percent.
  • More than 8 hours: 22 percent.

Q: Approximately how much time does your organization need to load pricing from a new contract?

  • One week: 42 percent.
  • One month: 33 percent.

Q: In the past three years, have overall contract administration / pricing accuracy efforts gotten better, worse, or unchanged?

  • Unchanged/No opinion: 65 percent.
  • Better: 28 percent.


From: http://www.repertoiremag.com/a-meeting-place.html