LUH negotiates lower supply costs

LONGMONT – Longmont United Hospital could save $2 million in yearly supply costs after signing up for a national price benchmark service, its materials management director said Thursday.

The largest savings this year could come from negotiating cheaper costs for materials used in hip and knee replacements, said Tim Ingram, the materials management director. Hospital employees plan to negotiate with vendors across the board, however, after seeing the new data, Ingram said.

“It’s hard to know what your competitors are paying,” Ingram said. “This gives us a better advantage in knowing what other people are paying for the products we’re using.”

The PriceLYNX service gives hospitals a chance to compare their prices to those of nearly 1,000 others in the industry, Irving, Texas-based VHA Inc. said in a statement. The new product was launched last year.

Ingram declined to say how much Longmont United pays for the service. But he said the hospital already saved money after it found out that it had been overcharged for intravenous tubing and was reimbursed by the company.

Longmont United Hospital reported 2008 revenue of $402 million and uncollected charges of $257 million according to the most recent records obtained by the Boulder County Business Report. The 201-bed hospital reported that it had 1,238 employees in 2010.

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