VHA Improves Health Care in Pennsylvania by Helping Hospitals Save $101.8 Million Through Supply Chain and Group Purchasing Services

Savings Help More than 70 Pennsylvania Hospitals Contain Costs and

Enhance Patient Care

Dec 14, 2005, 00:00 ET from VHA Inc.

    IRVING, Texas, Dec. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- VHA Inc., a national health care
 alliance, announced today that hospitals in Pennsylvania saved more than
 $101.8 million in 2004 through its supply chain services and group purchasing
 programs, and the hospitals are on track to exceed that savings figure in
 2005.  Seventy-three Pennsylvania hospitals purchased more than $1.2 billion
 in health care supplies in 2004 through Novation, VHA's group purchasing
 organization (GPO).
     Abington Memorial Hospital in Montgomery County saved more than $7.2
 million in 2004 through VHA and Novation, including $2.4 million when VHA
 helped Abington develop a new process for engaging physicians and negotiating
 better prices on sophisticated and expensive medical devices.
     "Finding and buying the best drugs, supplies and medical devices at the
 best possible prices takes an enormous amount of time and requires significant
 input from purchasing and clinical staff members." says Richard Montalbano,
 vice president at Abington Memorial.  "Working with VHA and Novation allows us
 to work with our doctors to identify cost saving opportunities that also
 improve the quality of care and patient satisfaction."
     Other health care providers that are part of the VHA alliance in
 Pennsylvania include: Altoona Hospital, Butler Health System, Crozer-Keystone
 Health System, Hamot Medical Center, Holy Redeemer Health System, Lehigh
 Valley Hospital & Health Network, St. Clair Memorial Hospital, Temple
 University Health System, University of Pennsylvania Health System and
 WellSpan Health.  Each hospital voluntarily participates in VHA programs that
 help them save money on the best drugs, supplies, services and medical devices
 for their patients.
     GPOs serve as extensions of hospital purchasing offices, 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 three to six
 percent per year on supplies.  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 Jerry Miller, president and chief executive
 officer at Springfield-based Crozer-Keystone Health System, which saved
 millions on supplies in 2004 working with VHA.  "That's why it's crucial that
 we find ways to operate as efficiently as possible, and the savings we
 realized are real, and other hospitals and health care systems in Pennsylvania
 are benefiting from VHA's services, too."
     "We've been a broad-based supporter of VHA because we benefit from its
 clinical collaboratives and from its supply chain program," said Steven P.
 Johnson, president and CEO of Susquehanna Health System in Williamsport, Pa.,
 which will save more than $650,000 this year through VHA's supply chain
 management programs.   "VHA helps us effectively apply strategies that are
 being used in other health care organizations to our organization, and VHA
 makes it easier for us to learn about and implement best practices."
     In addition to working with hospitals in the state, VHA and Novation have
 contracts with Pennsylvania suppliers, including: Aesculap Inc., CardiacAssist
 Inc., Draeger Medical Inc., InterMetro Industries Inc., Jefferson Medical &
 Imaging Inc., Medrad Inc., Molnlycke Health Care Inc., Respironics Inc. and
 Teva Pharmaceuticals Industries Ltd.  These contracts span a wide range of
 products: cardiac devices, wound care products, oral care products and office
 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 of VHA Inc., +1-972-830-0798, or lgentry@vha.com.