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Providers focused on cutting costs

Concerns about declining reimbursments and health reform spur action

A majority of healthcare providers are actively cutting costs in reaction to changes caused by healthcare reform finds a new survey by a supply chain improvement company.

Provista surveyed 359 administrators of ambulatory surgical centers (ASCs), cancer centers, home health agencies and physician practices about what they anticipate will impact their purchasing in the next year. At the top of their list is declining reimbursements. In response to the declines and other changes wrought by healthcare reform, 70 percent of respondents admitted to actively reducing costs in some way.

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While all factions were adamant that adaptation via reduction was a route worth pursuit, some organization types were more confident than others – ASCs and cancer centers held firm in their projected ability to change with the times and the ticket prices, whereas home health agencies and physician practices were not so sure. And although all respondents pegged declining reimbursement as their paramount problem, the steps being taken to combat the issue varied significantly.

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Find below the pathways to prosperity from the vantage of each responding delivery model:

Physician Practices

[See also: 5 supply chain metrics you need to watch]

All information courtesy of Provista. Presentation by PhysBizTech.

Other key aspects:

  • Key areas identified for purchasing over the next 12 months include computer and/or software (58 percent), malpractice insurance (30 percent) and furniture (28 percent). In the next 12 months, physician practices plan to make limited investments in exam tables (16 percent), telehealth monitoring equipment (10 percent) or lab equipment (10 percent).
  • Forty percent noted that they were somewhat confident in their ability to adapt to a new healthcare landscape.

Ambulatory Surgical Centers

All information courtesy of Provista. Presentation by PhysBizTech.

Other key aspects:

  • Declining reimbursement rates (72 percent), operating costs (66 percent) and increased regulations (38 percent) were cited as primary considerations when making business decisions in an ASC.
  • Forty-five percent of ASC respondents expect their capital equipment purchases to remain the same and 73 percent report physician preference purchases will stay the same.
  • Major purchases by ASCs over the next 12 months include operating room equipment (49 percent), computers and software (37 percent) and monitoring equipment (23 percent). In the next 12 months, surgery centers plan to make limited investments in monitoring equipment (23 percent), diagnostic imaging (8 percent) and lab equipment (7 percent).

Cancer Centers

All information courtesy of Provista. Presentation by PhysBizTech.

Other key aspects:

  • Declining reimbursement rates (88 percent), drug costs (60 percent) and general operating costs (42 percent) cited as key challenges.
  • Within the sector, major purchases over the next 12 months include computers and/or software (50 percent), furniture (35 percent) and exam tables (25 percent). They intend to spend less on diagnostic imaging (13 percent), radiation therapy systems (10 percent) and lab equipment and infusion pumps (12 percent).

Home Health Agencies

All information courtesy of Provista. Presentation by PhysBizTech.

Other key aspects:

  • The majority of HHAs cited declining reimbursement rates (79 percent) and operating costs (60 percent) as key challenges.
  • Sixty-one percent said their future home health purchases include computer and/or software, and 25 percent said telehealth monitoring systems.

Photo used with permission from Shuttershock.com.