VHA Improves Health Care in Kansas by Helping Hospitals Save $10.8 Million Through Supply Chain and Group Purchasing Services

Savings Help 66 Kansas Hospitals Contain Costs and Enhance Patient Care

Nov 08, 2005, 00:00 ET from VHA Inc.

    IRVING, Texas, Nov. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- VHA Inc., a national health care
 alliance, announced today that hospitals in Kansas saved more than $10.8
 million in 2004 through its supply chain services and group purchasing
 programs, and that the hospitals are on track to exceed that savings figure in
 2005.  Sixty-six Kansas-based health care organizations purchased more than
 $180 million in health care supplies in 2004 through Novation, VHA's group
 purchasing organization (GPO).
     Four rural Kansas hospitals, Hays Medical Center, Hutchison Hospital,
 Pratt Regional Medical Center and Salina Regional Health Center, collectively
 saved more than $4 million through VHA and Novation in 2004.  These rural
 hospitals face obstacles in meeting patient needs that are unlike those in
 urban areas, including the ability to command the supplies and services they
 need at prices they can afford. VHA helped them collaborate to negotiate
 better pricing and reduce supply expenses and increase operating income -- all
 while keeping quality standards high.
     "Finding and buying the best drugs, supplies and medical devices at the
 best possible prices is a big challenge particularly for smaller, rural
 hospitals," says Susan Page, chief executive officer of Pratt Regional Medical
 Center.  "Through VHA and Novation, we are able to access the same expertise
 as larger hospitals allowing us to benefit from shared experiences."
     Dozens of other hospitals and clinics in Kansas are part of the VHA
 alliance, including: Cheyenne County Hospital, Hiawatha Community Hospital,
 Lawrence Memorial Hospital, Mitchell County Hospital, Stormont-Vail
 HealthCare.  Each hospital voluntarily participates in VHA programs that help
 them help save money on the best drugs, supplies, services and medical devices
 for their patients.
     GPOs serve as extensions of hospital purchasing departments, providing
 special expertise, negotiating experience, electronic tools and processes to
 streamline buying and save hospitals hundreds of millions of dollars each
 year. Hospitals buying through Novation save an average of 1 percent to 3
 percent, compared with purchasing on their own or through other GPOs.  The
 savings fall immediately to a hospital's bottom line and make resources
 available for other uses.
     "Hospitals have never been under so much pressure to provide unlimited
 care on limited budgets," said Randy Peterson, president and chief executive
 officer of Salina Regional. "The savings that hospitals realize through VHA
 are real, and necessary."
     In addition to working with hospitals in the state, VHA and Novation have
 contracts with Kansas suppliers, including: Medi-Flex and Suture Express.
 These companies make antiseptics, wound care products, sterile instruments and
 endo-surgical products.  Through Novation, suppliers are able to promote new
 and emerging technologies to the health care marketplace.
     About VHA
     VHA Inc., based in Irving, Texas, is a national alliance that provides
 industry-leading supply chain management services and supports the formation
 of regional and national networks to help members improve their clinical and
 economic performance. With 18 offices across the U.S., VHA has a track record
 of proven results in serving more than 2,400 health care organizations
     CONTACT:  Lynn Gentry