Wake Forest Baptist Health, an academic health system made up of five acute care hospitals and more than 1,500 beds, enlisted Premier to tackle the rising costs of high-value implants in 2017. As one strategy that was part of a total cost management approach to tackling variation and standardization in care delivery and operations, the high cost of devices and implants used by surgeons represented a major opportunity to improve margins, as these supplies represent one of the highest cost categories for most health systems. Working with Premier, Wake Forest Baptist targeted high-cost implants used in five disease states, including spine, joint arthroplasty, cardiac rhythm management, trauma and neuromodulation, accounting for more than $45 million in spend.
The High-Value Implant Advisory Services team at Premier analyzed the purchases in each of these disease states across the Wake Forest Baptist system. Using Premier’s proprietary database consisting of high-value implant data from more than 1,100 hospitals, the team aimed to reduce pricing disparity across functionally equivalent products. With a robust database to analyze internal spend data and external pricing using cross-reference benchmarking, the team identified opportunities for cost savings and created a strategy to move forward.
With support and engagement from the faculty, who are crucial to the process, Premier delivered RFPs to Wake Forest Baptist vendors in the targeted service lines to reduce pricing disparity both internally and compared to the market. Premier’s team partnered with the Wake Forest Baptist staff to hold vendors accountable during the RFP process to drive savings and negotiate new contracts on high-value implants.
As an academic medical center, Wake Forest Baptist requires access to multiple vendors to explore and examine best practices through research. Through this initiative, the faculty continues to have choices, but with better contract terms.
Wake Forest Baptist leveraged Premier’s cross-reference benchmarking, data analytics and advisory services to achieve improved pricing parity across suppliers. The faculty are also able to use their preferred vendors, with minimal impact to product or supplier options. Savings started with the first high-value implant project after only four months; in the six months following, the collaboration between Wake Forest Baptist and Premier generated $3.6 million in total implemented savings in the five disease states.
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