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University HealthSystem Consortium Adds Price Comparison to Spend Analytics Tool

The University HealthSystem Consortium has added a price competitive index (PCI) enhancement to SpendLINK, its proprietary supply chain spend analytics tool that helps academic medical centers optimize pricing. All members participating in the supply chain services and some of their associated hospitals submit their spend data to UHC, creating the database from which the PCI and price benchmarks are derived.

PCI, which is a unique scoring method for pricing competitiveness, will allow consortium hospitals to:

  • Assess their price competitiveness by manufacturer or United Nations Standard Products and Services Code (UNSPSC) relative to other academic medical centers;
  • Work with clinicians to select the right products at the right price with data to support purchasing recommendations; and
  • Verify that price quotes are reasonable when purchasing new items, based on comparisons with purchases made by consortium members within the last year.

In a statement the consortium said that supply chain purchases represent 20 percent of a hospital's expenditure, making it the second largest expense after labor costs. In a complex academic medical center environment, supply costs may exceed $100 million annually.

The consortium, formed in 1984, is an alliance of 102 academic medical centers and 217 of their affiliated hospitals, representing about 90 percent of US nonprofit academic medical centers.

Supply chain participants include Emory University Hospital, the Oregon Health & Science University, and the University of Connecticut Health Center.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a writer who covers technology and business for a number of publications. Contact her at dian@dischaffhauser.com.

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