With mounting budget pressures being placed on primary healthcare providers. The focus is very much falling on some of the medical supplies industries tactics for generating profit. Many GP's are looking out for new ways to beat overpricing.
Overpriced Medical Equipment and Supplies
Back in 2010 a HSJ survey found that nearly half of all U.K GP's were breaching their commissioning budget. With the potential for IT management and training costs to fall under individual practice and consortium control GP's with already stretched budgets will find their finances under even more pressure. Many financial controllers will need to look closely at resources and how medical supplies are sourced.
The amount of money wasted in primary care remains an extremely high burden on an already financially strained NHS. Key areas of wastage are the use of membership based buying groups, branded medications, branded consumables and lack of management on consolidation of products.
These wastes are not restricted to commodity or service purchases but can also include waste of time resources of key personnel such as practice managers and administrators who should be less focussed on reviewing market pricing to having more focus on reinvesting their time on health critical issues such as the management of patients.
At a time when the Health Service is coming under increasing pressure and justifiable scrutiny by the press and the public, then it is clear that the stewardship of our money needs to improve and it should be spent on our health, if a tax-funded NHS is going to retain the Public's confidence.
The Medical Industry is riddled with variable pricing levels on basic products to over inflated list pricing on specialist equipment. Why? Well anything deemed medical appears to carry a Midas touch meaning suppliers and OEM's grant themselves the right to charge what they like! A key example is the Astronomical prescription drug prices -- with mark ups ranging from 200% to 3,000% which is enough to give patients a headache.
Comparison shopping is also a great idea although using a one stop shop type service such as Medical-Supermarket is also another method in tackling over priced goods. Evaluations have proved that some customers could be paying up to 30% more for products such as gloves to their neighbouring surgeries just down the road! Why? Because suppliers have been instrumental in playing off surgeries off each other to deliver profit.
In a bid to change the way healthcare is sourced and paid for Medical Supermarket is driving innovation by reducing cost on both capital and consumables by funnelling supply chains and multiple suppliers into one uniform buying group. These efforts have seen individual surgeries save in excess of 50% on key products such as stationery, toners, medical consumables and many other services. Watch out suppliers, sky high profiteering is about to get tricky!
Pinpointing through careful analysis of GP budgets is part of the MS-5 project. Though initially a light hearted promotion of the Medical Supermarket business the project has revealed some critical overspending in GP budgets.
The group is available for consultation and analysis of all levels of primary health care budgets.