December 19, 2023

Weekly Business Insights 12/19/2023

Healthcare spending growth less than half of 2020 COVID-19 numbers. Clinging to customer service amid cost containment. Finance-Supply Chain Partnerships Extend Beyond ‘Show Me the Numbers’.

©Kittiphan Teerawattanakul/Eye Em/Getty Images

Healthcare spending growthless than half of 2020 COVID-19 numbers 

In 2022, healthcare spending in the United States increased 4.1% to $4.5 trillion, or $13,493 per person, according to new analysis from the Office of the Actuary at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

"Health care expenditures since 2020 have reflected volatile patterns associated with the COVID-19 pandemic and the federal government's response to the public health emergency," said Micah Hartman, a statistician in the CMS Office of the Actuary and first author of the Health Affairs article. "The growth in healthcare spending in 2022 of4.1% was more consistent with the pre-pandemic average annual growth rate of4.4% over 2016–19.

It remains to be seen how future healthcare spending trends will materialize, as trends are expected to be driven more by health-specific factors such as medical-specific price inflation, the utilization and intensity of medical care, and the demographic impacts associated with the continuing enrollment of the baby boomers in Medicare."

Clinging to customer service amid cost containment

To close out 2023, and the remnant of a global pandemic, Healthcare Purchasing News (HPN) wanted to offer suppliers – manufacturers, distributors and service companies – the opportunity to reflect on what they feel were demonstrations of exemplary customer service. HPN amassed a broad list of companies spanning supply chain, sterile processing, surgical services, infection prevention, environmental services and information technology, spotlighting 20.Specifically, HPN asked them to share details about what happened with a customer, how they handled it together, who participated in the solution and how they collaborated to move forward.

HPN felt such ideas would serve as an informative breath of fresh air and good news to cap yet another year clouded by continuing cost pressures. 

A customer faced the challenge of optimizing their surgical supply chain with a focus on waste reduction, resource efficiency and patient care. To address this, we restructured processes, introduced dynamic inventory management and optimized staff allocation. By introducing automation, our customer was able to streamline operations, which allowed them to establish rigorous quality control measures. As a result of these changes, the perioperative environment benefited from a significantly more efficient and streamlined supply chain.

Finance-Supply Chain Partnerships Extend Beyond ‘Show Me the Numbers’

Many healthcare provider-based Supply Chain departments report up through Finance with the CFO their official connection to the C-suite. Supply Chain reporting through Operations and the COO or even occupying a seat themselves as Chief Supply Chain Officer remains the minority with the latter more of a rarity. Some healthcare organizations, however, have developed, nurtured and seasoned the professional relationship between Finance and Supply Chain to go beyond stereotypical observations and expectations. In short, they’ve slashed through complications and capitalized on camaraderie for the benefit of their organizations and the patients they serve.

Back to all posts