Healthcare Matters launches

The latest addition to the vast Spend Matters publishing empire went live recently - Healthcare Matters.  Edited by Tom Finn, the site looks great already, and focuses -  perhaps not surprisingly - on  issues around the healthcare supply chain.

To begin with at least, it is very US focused, but I suspect if you're in that sector, you will find it of interest, and perhaps we'll try and slip in the odd more UK / European post.

Here are some highlights from the first week or so.

Disruptive hand in glove market -- Twenty-five years ago, almost all exam gloves for the worldwide market were made in America –mostly in Ohio. Although the global market continues to grow and is expected to reach $3.4 billion annually by 2015, guess how many latex exam gloves are still being manufactured in the US? That's right: Zero. They're all manufactured in Southeast Asia. But the times they are a changing...

The Next Frontier -- Clinical Variance -- Physicians are focused on patients, healthcare management is focused on the consistent performance of their care processes -- and SCM professionals are charged with standardizing those same processes with order sets and utilization metrics that are "sized right" for each procedure across all service lines. So it was only a matter of time before someone was going to point at the elephant in the room and start asking questions around variance in practice, especially as it relates to supply utilization.

Friday Rant: Macaroni & Cheese, Lawyers & Reverse Auctions, etc. -- Certain things go together nicely. You could say they even have a "ring" to them. Baseball and hotdogs, pizza and beer, apple pie and Chevrolet, marriage and divorce -- and now, lawyers and reverse auctions. Halleluiah! Sorry, I mean, "fantastic." The Wall Street Journal recently ran a story titled "Pricing Tactic Spooks Lawyers" about how several big companies, including healthcare manufacturers, are using competitive bidding tools (i.e. reverse auctions) to source legal services. And guess what? It's working beautifully. Terrific price compression has been achieved (15 – 40%). But the lawyers aren't sure they like the process.

Open Season for Open Markets -- A few months ago, I talked to Vern Sebby, Open Markets' Co-founder and COO. His company was just getting ready for its launch project -- "a market buy" involving some 1000 hospitals -- so some fresh experience and actual results will soon be posted. In the interim, here's an introduction to a new player in our space -- Open Markets.

AHRMM Twister...(Get it?) -- I spent a day last week at the AHRMM-11 Convention in Boston. As part of my new role here at Healthcare Matters, I set out to run the gauntlet and make sure I checked out every exhibitor. 45 minutes later, I had. I now know more about asset recovery, the refurbished equipment markets, orthopedic boots, environmentally friendly drapes and yes, whether or not I'm a good candidate for belly button surgery, than I ever wanted to know. In all seriousness, although more than 200 exhibitors turned out, the exhibition floor was not the highlight, in my opinion.

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First Voice

  1. Tom Finn:


    Thanks for the plug. In fact, I’ll be taking my shots at the NHS in due course. Indeed, I’ve got a little history there. Looking forward to meeting you as soon as the UK immigration office allows me back in the country.


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