Distributor Insights, a two-day forum sponsored by MDSI (the publisher of Repertoire) that brings together distributors, manufacturers and providers to discuss healthcare and supply chain issues, produced some interesting dialogue between providers and suppliers. Namely, a group of IDN supply chain executives told distributors and manufacturers at the recent Distributor Insights conference that physicians in their communities are approaching them about becoming employed by the multihospital systems. “They’re tired,” said one IDN executive, speaking about physicians. “They want work/life balance, they’re sick of handling billing.” The IDN can provide the financial infrastructure those practices need to remain viable.

But the IDNs want something too. Supply chain executives want to instill some discipline into their newly acquired physician practices. They expect physicians to be more rigorous in their evaluation of new products and in establishing and adhering to med/surg “formularies.” They also expect them to be more conscious of inventory control.

At the same time, the executives know that, just as they can’t fully control physicians on staff, they can’t dictate what their newly employed physicians will do. “They are the most willful employees of all,” said one of the executives. So, rather than dictate change, supply chain executives expect that they will have to work with their physicians to effect change. And they appear to be doing just that, moving market share in powerful ways, particularly with high-ticket “physician preference” items, such as implants.

To read coverage of the DI meeting, click here




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