If you have ever walked through the doors of a wholesale club like Sam’s, Costco, or BJ’s, you know group purchasing. However, group purchasing power for physicians is different than buying forty-gallon jugs of toothpaste.
We are going to introduce you to the power of group purchasing for the medical community.
Medical wholesaling isn’t focused on membership fees or truck-sized carts; It’s about saving money on what you already buy for your practice (up to 40%!), increasing your revenue stream through additional items and inviting you to be a part of an exclusive community of other physicians.
What is Medical Group Purchasing?
Medical wholesaling happens all around us! Hospitals take advantage of group purchasing programs, especially multi-location centers. They will purchase under a single account that serves multiple doors, giving them ability to negotiate deep discounts.
As an individual physician or solo practitioner, you may think that group purchasing does not apply to you. The truth is: There are programs that allow physicians like you to become part of a larger purchasing group to harness group purchasing power. You continue to operate in the same way, but are part of something larger. There is power in numbers!
Medical group wholesale purchasing is:
- Like a co-op
- Purchasing power is disbursed among all members of the group
- You buy what you want and need, but don’t have to buy more than you need to meet minimums
- You can buy a single item, small quantities or large quantities
- Governed by a single entity that shepherds the buyers into a discount program
How Group Purchasing Works
The first step to obtaining a membership in a medical group purchasing organization is to self-identify. Raise your hand to join a community of others like yourself. At that point, you become “bundled-in” to the group, but all of your registration, ordering, shipping and payment information remains separate, including:
- Your medical ID number
- Your tax ID number
- Your practice address
- Credit card/purchase order information
- Contact representative
Wonder What Bundling Means?
The term “bundling” is when an organization leverages large volumes of purchasing power to command higher discounts from manufacturers, distributors and other vendors. The organization then turns around and passes the discounts along to the group members, thus reducing costs on supplies, services and equipment.
In a way, you can look at physician group purchasing like a visit to a shopping mall…
When headed to the mall, you have a general idea of what you are looking for. You know there will be specialty stores throughout the mall (sunglasses, jewelry, baby clothes) and that you have to point yourself in the direction of the stores you want to shop at. However, the difference between you and those mall-goers is that you have priority access and specialized discounts at those shops.
Power2Practice’s Group Purchasing Organization “Mall” Offers Items Such as:
- Nutrients and supplements
- Office furniture
- Office supplies
- Lab tests and supplies
- Computers and software
- Food, drinks and break room items
- Medical/surgical supplies
- As well as services including human resource procurement, patient support services, IT support and capital asset management
Choosing Your Companies
Once you have joined a Group Purchasing Organization (GPO) like the one we offer at Power2Practice, you select the companies you want to receive discounts from. With hundreds of reputable organizations aligning to make their wares available to GPO members, you will have many to choose from.
- In some cases, the GPO itself will simply register your name and you will receive access to discounts.
- Other organizations may have a separate form for you to fill out or a private website with a unique code for discounts.
- Your GPO can also make recommendations on the best deals from certain companies.
Common Misperceptions About GPOs
One of the biggest benefits of joining a GPO is flexibility. As part of a medical GPO, you do not have to change your purchasing habits at all. Because you are shopping in the same membership group as other physicians, your order is bundled with other doctors (though shipped separately and securely).
Now to dispell a few other myths…
1) There is no specific place. You do not have to go to a building or shop. Your discounts are available online and in places you may already shop, but there is no single location required.
2) You are in a group, but there are no group activities. There are no meetings, roll calls, assemblies or responsibilities. You are part of an exclusive group by your physician status only.
3) Joining a group costs you only the amount of time in which you need to get up-to-speed on the program. There are no fees, no commitments, no charges.
- Nothing is added on to your purchase price
- You are not billed for membership or access
4) You will not find minimums like a standard wholesaling store. Yes, you can buy vitamins in extremely high quantities if you resell them in your practice, but you do not have to! Your order will be bundled together with other orders, which makes up those high quantities.
5) Your orders are guaranteed to be complete and delivered on time.
Ready to Experience the Power of Group Purchasing?
Power2Practice is the first EMR that is dedicated to the unique clinical needs of integrative and functional medicine practices. Through an entirely cloud-based system, Power2Practice’s electronic medical record solution is easy to use and instantly intuitive.
With Power2Practice, physicians can actively engage patients in the health and wellness process. Features such as e-prescribing, billing, connections to major medical suppliers and laboratories, and automatic appointment confirmations ensure no time is wasted!