John Wright, Advantus Health Partners’ chief operating officer, is far from an outsider in health care. Both of his grandfathers and his father have a history in the industry. John was inspired to contribute to the legacy after seeing how his father led teams through valuing collaboration and recognizing individual contributions to team efforts.
Despite growing up around the industry, or perhaps because of this, John is acutely aware of common shortcomings in health care, specifically the lack of standardization in the supply chain. Solving these complex issues in the health care system drives John, and his work has garnered respect amongst other health care officials.
John understands the importance of working together and growing strategic partnerships. For example, a group purchase organization or GPO, allows a larger health care organization to extend the advantages of bulk pricing to smaller organizations that may not have relationships with certain suppliers or have an experienced supply chain expert in their organizations. By leveraging relationships and expertise, a larger organization can help reduce costs for smaller organizations, strengthening their relationships with smaller providers and potentially lowering costs for themselves. On paper, GPOs are an excellent way for health care organizations to come together and grow.
However, John explains that the typical issue with GPOs is the limited two-to-three-year contract cycle. Once a contract is in place, and these organizations start transitioning from their old suppliers to the new ones, the new supplier ramps production. By the time the vehicle is in motion, it is time to start renegotiating contracts; this leaves all parties in perpetual transition.
With Advantus Health Partners, John and the team work outside the typical contract cycle and approach suppliers collaboratively. By doing so, health care organizations build stronger relationships with their suppliers, and each other and CEOs are allowed to focus on more significant issues rather than supply constraints. This small change ultimately results in more attentive care for patients.
John brings his long experience as a supply chain expert with preexisting relationships to Advantus Health Partners to build a sustainable method to cut down on supply chain “waste.” The technique introduces pricing transparency into the mix, something oft forgotten in traditional purchasing methods. Advantus works as a broker of sorts, connecting the needs of health care organizations with suppliers and having a conversation that includes how to reduce costs while cutting down on supplier waste. This type of transaction creates a mutually beneficial deal that ultimately leads to stronger relationships with fewer suppliers and increases customer service quality.
At its core, the business model of Advantus Health Partners is encouraging and empowering health care organizations to provide elevated care. By refusing to accept the limitations of short-term relationships with suppliers, innovative thinkers like John are showing the more significant health care industry that this is not only possible but necessary if the end goal is patient satisfaction.