ONLINE PURCHASING: Internet Exchange to Offer Providers Cost Savings
Global Health Care Exchange, a Chicago-based Internet exchange designed to streamline medical supply orders, is "taking off in popularity" as more health care providers view it as a chance to reduce costs, the Chicago Tribune reports. The six-month- old venture, founded by Abbott Laboratories, Deerfield-based Baxter International Inc, Medtronic Inc., GE Medical Systems and Johnson & Johnson, has more than 40 companies signed on to participate. The exchange will begin operations later this year with the goal of "vastly improv[ing]" the time-consuming and costly process of ordering "everything from MRI machines ... to rubber gloves and tongue depressors." The private exchange formed with five equity founders, but has since expanded to 10 equity partners, 35 manufacturers and three distributors. Speaking at a luncheon of business leaders last week in Chicago, Abbott CEO Miles White said, "In an average year, more than $100 billion of health care products and services are purchased in the U.S. alone. Every percentage point reduction in that total equals a billion dollars. That does add up." Of the $83 billion hospitals spend annually, $11 billion could be saved by improving business practices, according to industry reports (Jaspen, Chicago Tribune, 10/3).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.