Throughout the country, administrators at health care centers that rely on federal funding are likely contemplating how their facilities will be impacted by forthcoming proposed changes to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). While a potential repeal of the ACA failed to gain traction for now, it may be time to assess areas where your organization can reduce costs and build up financial reserves to prepare for a possible decrease in funding.
Here are five ways your organization can set up a cost-reduction game plan:
1. Help Your Employees Navigate Pending Changes
Your employees are likely concerned about what effect any legislative changes will have on your organization. Your first step should be to reassure them that while there may be changes on the way, the organization is still committed to serving patients and is preparing to address changes that could affect the organization. You also should outline plans to address reductions in funding by streamlining overall costs and explain that leadership is open to employees’ suggestions on doing so. For example, if an employee finds a more cost-effective way to handle shipping out lab results, management should be open to a potential change in protocol.
2. Set Up a Supplier Review
Consider reaching out to your current suppliers (especially medical supply vendors) to conduct a supplier review to pinpoint areas where you could save. If your supplier can review and suggest similar-quality products with a better price point (such as generic needles made in the same factory as the name brand) or streamline multiple weekly orders into one weekly shipment, it could be an easy way to find potential savings.
3. Align Your GPO Needs
If you participate in a Group Purchasing Order program, you should consider ways to get the most value for your organization. Many use GPOs for medical supply procurement, but such programs can also help your organization save on office supplies, telecom services and other needs.
4. Make Sure You’re Getting Proper Rates on Pharmaceuticals
If you qualify for the 340B Drug Pricing Program to purchase outpatient pharmaceuticals, make sure that you are properly enrolled in the program. For example, review your paperwork to ensure that your facility’s address and other necessary information is filled out properly. ERA was able to find 45 percent savings for a health care facility when it was noticed that they were not receiving the 340B pricing rate because they hadn’t filled out their office suite number properly.
5. Partner With Fellow Organizations to Provide Comprehensive Services
At the end of the day, your organization’s role is to provide adequate access to health-related services to the local community. In times when funding sources may become less certain, it may be beneficial to find ways to align with other local organizations, such as a YMCA or food banks to provide access to exercise classes or nutrition seminars to the local community. By reaching out to organizations that have similar goals and missions, your organization may be able to provide more comprehensive resources to your local community while maintaining a tighter budget.