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Getting Healthcare Reform Done with the Entire Supply Chain

DALLAS, April 19, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- GHX CEO Bruce Johnson along with former Senators Bill Frist and Tom Daschle addressed an audience of over 600 healthcare business leaders this morning on the challenges and opportunities in designing and delivering a sustainable healthcare system at the opening keynote of the GHX Healthcare Supply Chain Summit.  

The three-day event is focused on the future of the healthcare supply chain with participants from hospitals and medical-surgical suppliers across North America and Europe addressing a range of critical issues facing the industry.  Most notable among the issues discussed this morning was the need for greater data visibility as well as collaboration among suppliers and providers in order to meet the demands pressing on the healthcare system.

Bruce Johnson on the Cost/Quality Equation in Healthcare

"The global challenge in healthcare is going after the cost/quality equation," said GHX CEO Bruce Johnson in his opening keynote address.  "We need end-to-end data visibility within the supply chain in order to create value. If we create this visibility in a purposeful way that allows for informed decision making, it allows us to take costs out of the system. When we combine visibility and illumination and innovative people together, we can create intelligent healthcare."

"The industry is facing demands for real-time, precise knowledge about business transactions, patients, product lines, markets and customers," continued Johnson.  "The industry needs a 360-degree supply chain that connects everything from data captured at the point of use all the way back to the point of manufacture, and everything in between."  Johnson closed with his commitment to the industry pledging that GHX will be a change agent for healthcare through its 360-degree supply chain; committing to taking cost, waste and inefficiencies out of the system; and committing to helping make healthcare one of the most efficient industries."

(For access to the Bruce Johnson keynote: )

Senators Bill Frist and Tom Daschle on Healthcare Reform

Sen. Bill Frist, in his remarks, agreed that the value equation is of primary importance in getting to the healthcare reform end game.  In talking about the framework and background of the healthcare bill, Sen. Frist was quick to clarify that it's not actually a reform bill but rather an access bill.

In presenting how he believes the industry will evolve and adapt, Sen. Frist referenced the cost/value equation, noting that "it's outcomes, it's results, it's quality, it's performance.  It's all those things which historically in healthcare we have not measured. But in business and in the manufacturing sector specifically we've been measuring all the time."  

Sen. Frist continued, "We are currently in a fee-for-service system which pushes quantity but are moving to one that's focused on the value equation.  We are doing this by moving from an open access, fee for service, shared rates system to care systems that over the next three to four years will inject cost and quality measures. A system that is evolving into a field of shared savings -- where if you save a dollar you can share in that savings -- to a full blown ACO model."

"Where the money goes there the behavior goes," Sen. Frist added.

Sen. Tom Daschle took the podium and added that "from a public policy perspective, we are experiencing a change in fundamental approaches relating to society that equal if not exceed the impact of the change to our monetary system in 1913, with the passage of social security in 1935, and the passage of Medicare in 1965. It is profound change.

"The country remains divided on what we want the healthcare market to look like.  And our challenge is to reconcile those disagreements. Most importantly is the disagreement on the role of government. But we are in agreement on many things, like cost.  If nothing changes healthcare will be 32-percent of GDP and that is unsustainable. There is no disagreement that there is a cost problem, an access problem and a quality problem.

"We understand what's causing these problems. Transparency in the health sector is far behind other industries in our economy.  Today, we have more information about sports figures than about every provider," continued Sen. Daschle in discussing the transparency challenge in today's health care industry.

Sen. Daschle added, "You can't fix what you can't see and the healthcare marketplace is very opaque."

(For access to the Senators Bill Frist and Tom Daschle's keynote: )

About GHX

Global Healthcare Exchange, LLC (GHX) makes healthcare more efficient by delivering software and services that enable both healthcare providers and suppliers to increase efficiency, lower costs and deliver better patient care. With the largest footprint in healthcare supply chain management, GHX connects more than 80 percent of licensed hospital beds at U.S. hospitals, as well as providers in Canada and Europe, with the suppliers from which they purchase the majority of their medical-surgical supplies. GHX is transforming today's linear healthcare supply chain into the industry's only healthcare supply cloud, providing 360-degree visibility into areas affecting both clinical and financial performance. Working with GHX, organizations can improve business processes, automate supply chain systems and work together in a collaborative environment to solve the tough challenges facing healthcare today. GHX is owned by members of the healthcare industry, including Abbott Exchange, Inc.; AmerisourceBergen Corp.; Baxter Healthcare Corp.; B. Braun Medical Inc.; BD; Boston Scientific Corp.; Cardinal Health, Inc.; Covidien; C.R. Bard, Inc.; Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc.; GE Healthcare; HCA; Johnson & Johnson Health Care Systems Inc.; McKesson Corp.; Medtronic USA, Inc.; Owens & Minor; Premier, Inc.; Siemens; University HealthSystem Consortium; and VHA Inc. For more information, visit Twitter: GHX_LLC and #GHX or #GHXsummit

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