SCKMC Receives Best Practice Award

August 25, 2011

Arkansas City, KS - South Central Kansas Medical Center was recently awarded the 2010 MedAssets Spend Management Best Practice Customer - Silver Award based on its efforts to reduce costs and improve its financial performance.

MedAssets is a group purchasing organization that collaborates with healthcare providers to help control cost, improve margins and cash flow, increase regulatory compliance, and optimize operational efficiency. They serve more than 125 health systems, 3,300 hospitals and 40,000 non-acute healthcare providers. In Kansas and Missouri MedAssets is represented through its affiliate, Associated Purchasing Services.

"They (MedAssets) have the buying power to help reduce our costs, and anytime we can reduce healthcare costs that savings is passed on to our patients," stated Holly Harper, SCKMC's Chief Financial Officer.

The medical center was selected as an award winner for achieving sustainable results with the purchasing program for the past three years.

"Our medical center saves several thousands of dollars each year by using this program. By saving on supplies we can reinvest in new equipment and keep up-to-date with current healthcare processes," Harper said.

Michelle Belindo is one of the people working hard to reduce the expenses of medical supplies and services. Belindo is the Purchasing Manager for the medical center. Her department places between 4 - 10 orders everyday for the majority of the departments within the facility.
"Over 75% of our purchases are through suppliers in the program, helping to drive cost savings across the organization," Belindo said.

Purchases vary and include everything from everyday supplies to specific pieces of equipment purchased during the construction of SCKMC's new medical center. While the savings may range from a few cents per item to hundreds of dollars it all adds up.

"We were able to save on medical gases, anesthesia equipment, ice machines, patient beds, physical therapy equipment and more during the construction of the new hospital, and we continue to save by going through the group. We recently saved 65% on freight shipping," Belindo said.

The continued need for fiscal responsibility through purchasing programs and budget awareness are promoted throughout the entire facility. SCKMC participates in the MedAssets program through a variety of departments including laboratory, pharmacy, nutritional services, and general purchasing.

"Rural hospitals must remain competitive with the larger institutions if they are going to be successful within this challenging environment. Our team is always looking for creative ways to reduce expenses while improving the services for our community. The MedAssets program is a good example of what we can accomplish by being focused on the same priorities," said Steve Perkins, SCKRMC CEO.

Photo: Holly Harper, SCKMC's CFO, presents Michelle Belindo and Pennie DeCoudres from the hospital's purchasing department the 2010 MedAssets award for financial performance.