Navigating the world of healthcare distribution can be quite complex. NDC is pleased to offer the following tips and resources to help answer some of the most frequent questions posed by distributors.

If you have additional questions about these topics or beyond, feel free to contact us. We’d be happy to help you.

Group Purchasing Organizations (GPOs)

What are GPOs?

GPOs were created to help hospitals and other healthcare providers pool their purchasing power to secure significant discounts on medical supplies.

Members of GPOs enjoy value-added benefits including clinical support, benchmarking data, supply chain support and comprehensive portfolios of products and services to address specific needs.

Participants in the healthcare supply chain join together to negotiate pricing on goods and services to reduce cost and provide value. Selected distributors are then awarded the right to access vendor contracts negotiated by the GPOs with vendors and pay fees based on distributed sales.

What organizations participate in GPOs?

GPOs have most commonly been accessed by acute-care organizations, but other markets, such as physician practices, skilled nursing, long term care, dental, physical therapy, and veterinary have engaged in group purchasing.

How can NDC help?

NDC can assist in connecting your organization with all of the nation’s leading GPOs. In addition, NDC has developed a proprietary, consolidated platform to support contract administration on behalf of our member distributors. We have partnered with many well-known healthcare manufacturers to provide access to contracts and streamline the process of reporting.

Legal Updates and Regulations

What is this Sunshine Act I keep hearing about?

Sunshine regulations have been enacted as part of the recent healthcare reform law. According to the act, “applicable manufacturers” of “covered products” must report to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) “payments and other transfers of value” to “covered recipients.”

What information do I need to collect?

You need to gather the following information for reporting purposes:

  • The physician or hospital: Name, address, National Provider Identifier or other distinct identifier
  • Transfer of value details: Amount, date, form and nature
  • Product details: The name under which device or medical supply is marketed

When does this start?

Distributors were to begin collecting the required data starting August 1, 2013. The first report was due to CMS on March 31, 2014.

The public disclosure date is September 30, 2014. Each succeeding year, the disclosure date will be June 30.

Industry Updates

For the most up-to-date information on the healthcare distribution industry, visit the Health Industry Distributors Association (HIDA) website frequently.