Ensuring accurate and competitive pricing for healthcare products creates unique challenges for hospitals at almost every level. Between multiple systems, inconsistencies in implementing price changes, delays in receiving contract pricing, and more, it’s easy to see how maintaining pricing accuracy can quickly become a complex process.
Effectively managing pricing provides increased transparency and efficiency for healthcare systems and is critical to overall operational health. The number one goal of pricing accuracy is to assure the customer is charged the correct price reflecting their current contract pricing.
Lehigh Valley Health Network has long recognized the importance of implementing a proactive solution to identify and address pricing errors before they happen. Lehigh Valley Health Network utilizes Owens & Minor’s RealPrice™ pricing management system to align products and pricing, saving time and expenses.
RealPrice is Owens & Minor’s industry-leading pricing management program. A specialized contract and pricing team, backed by advanced technology and processes work to get customers the right product for the right price, every time. It is a proactive approach that aligns to a defined contract hierarchy to address pricing errors and minimize issues before they impact a health system. According to GHX data, Owens & Minor has a higher invoice match rate compared to its peers in the field.*
* GHX, LLC. (2022). Quarterly GHXcellence Supplier Scorecard. January 2022, Q1 2020-Q4 2021. [Data file].
Lehigh Valley Health Network
Results at a Glance
Achieving Accuracy- It Starts with a Strong Foundation
Lehigh Valley Health Network has been able to achieve a 99%+ or higher invoice match rate. There are four key elements they believe are essential to achieve pricing accuracy and establishing a more efficient and effective supply chain.
1. Dedicated Leadership Within the Organization Committed to the Initiative
Not only did leadership at Lehigh Valley Health Network create an internal goal of being number one across the industry in pricing accuracy, but the organization committed time and resources to this objective. Leadership checked in on teams across all levels to assure gaps and issues were addressed immediately. Part of this was bringing Owens & Minor into discussions on a regular basis to align on plans and assure a smooth process. Teams had leadership support and were set up for success. Pricing accuracy requires a multi-functional team and robust engagement, which starts at the top, both in what
leadership says and how it acts.
``We pride ourselves on being in the GHX’s top 50 Healthcare Providers for Supply Chain Excellence. We’ve made the list 8 times, including making the list in 2021.`` - Keila M. Cruz, Supply Chain Systems Analyst, Lehigh Valley Health Network
2. A High-Quality Price Matching Service
RealPrice provided end-to-end support that all netted out with a more efficient and effective supply chain. In fixing and improving the upfront pricing, invoicing is enhanced across the ecosystem. RealPrice helped confirm accuracy for both Lehigh Valley and Owens & Minor and increased invoice match rate, which translated to less errors that the accounts payable team had to deal with. Four electronic data sets have been particularly vital in helping to proactively address potential issues that can be fixed in advance so the invoice is not held. Daily exceptions on pricing, monthly and quarterly part cross reference variances showing differences in what Lehigh Valley has as the Lawson number that is assigned to the Owens & Minor part number and monthly price books showing 30 days of expected pricing.
``Having clean invoices says a lot about the progress we’ve made with having accurate pricing.`` - John Rafferty, Director, Network Supply Chain Operations and Logistics, Lehigh Valley Health Network
3. Making Time For, and Ensuring Cadence of, Continued Communications
``We‘ve maintained a collaborative approach to communication, making sure to be proactive and work together to address potential issues before they become problems.`` - James Kober, Contract and Product Analyst, Lehigh Valley Health Network
Robust team communication cannot be understated - email is not enough. It starts with leadership but is essential across all job functions. Lehigh Valley Health Network has continued to be successful because the organization established weekly calls with Owens & Minor, which allowed for quicker identification of problems and more streamlined reactions. Team communication also included transparency about goals, progress, and issues with all vendors and internal staff.
``The more sophisticated we get and the more we grow, the more we rely on the data. We depend on the Owens & Minor team to help us keep the data clean and couldn’t do it without them.`` - Coy Ackerman, Director, Supply Chain Analytics and Purchasing, Lehigh Valley Health Network
4. A Trusted and Reliable Partner Makes All the Difference
Lehigh Valley Health Network continues to achieve high invoice match rate with RealPrice through the collaborative partnership built with Owens & Minor. Thanks to focused pricing accuracy, the partnership continues to progress with confidence, knowing Lehigh Valley Health Network will receive the right product in the correct shipment followed up with an accurate invoice that reflects the right price.
``Lehigh Valley Health Network deals with 1,200+ active supplier contracts throughout the U.S. Owens & Minor is in our top 10 for size and spend. What O&M has been able to achieve is an annuity. O&M is a distributor to us but also a family, they live with us, understand our culture, see the good, bad and ugly and we truly work as a team.`` - William Matthews, Vice President and Chief Procurement Officer, Lehigh Valley Health Network
Spotlight on Lehigh Valley Health Network
Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) is a large, 1,700 licensed bed teaching system comprised of nine hospital campuses with two new facilities opening in Spring of 2022, plus numerous health centers, physician practices, rehabilitation locations, ExpressCARE sites and other outpatient care locations, representing 95 specialties in seven eastern Pennsylvania counties.
Lehigh Valley Health Network is the area’s largest employer with more than 19,000 employees including HNL Lab Medicine. In fiscal year 2021, staff at Lehigh Valley Health Network cared for more than 72,800 patients in the hospital, attended to 235,500 emergency department cases and accommodated 4.7 million patients through outpatient registrations and network-owned physician practices. The health network also delivered almost 7,000 babies during 2021 and reached thousands more in the community through health screenings and education and prevention programs.
Lehigh Valley Hospital–Cedar Crest is ranked as the region’s No. 1 hospital for eight straight years, the No. 5 hospital in Pa. for 2020-21—the highest ranked in the region, and has been recognized among Pennsylvania’s top six hospitals for eight consecutive years by U.S. News & World Report.
Lehigh Valley Health Network earned national Magnet Hospital designation five consecutive times since 2002, including in 2020, from the American Nurses Credential Center. Magnet designation is the highest honor for nursing excellence. The health network is one of just 15 health systems nationwide to achieve Level 10 “Most Wired” designation for applying technology to support caregivers and patients from the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME). Lehigh Valley Health Network achieved Stage 7 of the HIMSS Electronic Medical Record Adoption Model (EMRAM), the highest level of EMR system progress at hospitals and health systems.
To learn more about Lehigh Valley Health Network visit their website at: LVHN.org.