How Group Purchasing Organizations are Evolving to Meet Changing Industry Demands
Senior living GPO shares their top priorities to help recruit and retain members
By Medline Newsroom Staff | January 2, 2020
Today a quick Google search of post-acute care needs will pull up results from three, four or even seven years ago that are all remarkably similar to each other. The findings are proof that post-acute care facilities constantly are challenged with familiar issues even as they persistent in the goal to drive effective outcomes while reducing costs and driving revenue.
Though their needs remain the same over the years, the healthcare landscape has changed dramatically, with new regulations and resources emerging to help providers meet their goals. Group purchasing organizations, like Ohio-based Link-age Solutions, are expanding their own services as well as industry partnerships with vendors like Medline to help members improve overall performance. The Medline Newsroom spoke with Annette Hutchins, Link-age’s Director of Strategic Accounts to learn how GPOs are evolving to keep up with the increasing needs of its members.
Newsroom: What is Link-age and who are its members?
Annette Hutchins: We currently work with more than 500 members across 39 states. As a senior living-focused GPO, Link-age Solutions serves post-acute care providers of all sizes, from larger chains to independent owners. Our membership includes life plan communities as well as affordable housing, assisted living, memory care, skilled nursing, home care and hospice.
NR: What are some of your organization’s initiatives for 2020 to help members navigate the changing landscape?
AH: Something that makes our organization unique is that we are composed of three different companies. As the challenges our members face become more complicated and affect even more areas of their operation, it has become more important that we expand our educational offerings that allow for sharing of best practices amongst providers. Throughout the year, we plan to bring innovative thought leaders together in an effort to create real solutions across the healthcare continuum. Additionally, we have an internal market research arm that focuses on the 55+ population and provide unique insights to help providers improve performance in their specific marketing efforts.
These branches of our organization combined with our GPO ultimately ladder up to helping create value for our members in order to address their largest and most common challenges, including cost and waste reduction, managing workforce, and sustainable practice.
NR: As the needs of your members evolve, how do you see your partnerships with suppliers like Medline also changing?
AH: While the partnership with Medline is new, we plan for it to be deeper than the traditional product distribution. Our members need added value in the form of subject matter expertise to help improve operational efficiencies, address changes in reimbursement models and meet accreditation requirements. There is tremendous value in Medline’s staff of more than 100 clinicians that touch all areas of healthcare.
Learn more about how Medline is working with senior living customers like Link-age Solutions to navigate complex operational and clinical requirements.