|GPOs: Providing Value in a Time of Need|
Originally Published MX May/June 2002
Value in a Time of Need
criticism, group purchasing organizations offer providers advantages that the
U.S. healthcare system has come to rely on.
Betz, PhD, is president and CEO of the Health Industry Group Purchasing
Association (HIGPA; Washington, DC).
costs have long been a concern to policymakers in Washington, DC, and elsewhere.
Throughout the past decade, for instance, changes in the ways that patients
pay for their healthcare have drawn dire predictions for the future of the U.S.
healthcare system as a whole. Of special concern have been the inability of
third-party insurers to keep up with rapidly rising healthcare costs, and the
growing number of elderly patients who rely upon Medicare to pay for their healthcare.
What can be done to mitigate, or at the very least not inflame, this problem?
One answer lies in maintaining strong and healthy group purchasing organizations
(GPOs). For almost 100 years, GPOs have empowered hospitals and other healthcare
providers, helping them purchase the best possible products at the best price.
In an era when one-third of all hospitals have negative operating margins as