HealthTrust’s program opens the door to more opportunity & competition
HealthTrust’s Diversity Program assists diverse suppliers (nationally certified minority-, women- and veteran-owned companies) with bidding on and winning contracts. This effort is making strides through new tools and membership involvement—and it’s a win-win for suppliers, member hospitals and patients.
“It’s important for our suppliers to reflect the population we serve in terms of patients,” says Janet McCain, Director of the Diversity Program at HealthTrust. These suppliers also bring competition to the market and help drive down prices. “Smaller suppliers are often more nimble, have quicker response times and can change their game plan to address members’ needs.”
Over the past 20 years, HealthTrust’s program has become one of the most respected in the industry. Today, 160 contracts with 90 suppliers and more than $320 million in member spend make up the diversity portfolio.
New tools to improve supplier diversity
In addition to its annual symposium, HealthTrust held the first-ever HealthTrust Supplier Diversity Workshop for non-contracted suppliers in the fall. The organization has a mentorship initiative in the works for potential launch in late 2021. “Our plan will be to match suppliers with potential diverse suppliers currently not on contract with HealthTrust and facilitate mentoring sessions,” McCain explains.
Through its partnership with Valify, HealthTrust also has a new diverse supplier identification feature soon to be launched. Members will be able to use the database to determine whether there is an opportunity to consider converting business to a diverse supplier.
HealthTrust has a Supplier Diversity Council composed of representatives from 15 of its integrated delivery system members. One of the goals of the Council is to identify best practices that can be shared with other HealthTrust members.
McCain says supplier diversity initiatives across the membership are making a difference. “Diverse suppliers often establish their businesses in areas of low economic development, which has a positive impact on the communities our members serve,” she says.
Here are program updates from two Supplier Diversity Council health system members:
Having launched its supplier diversity program in February 2021, Beaumont Health’s goal is to reflect the diversity of the communities it serves. The Michigan health system has eight acute care locations and more than 100 offsite care locations.
By 2023, it expects to grow its diversity spend to more than $30 million.
“The key in Detroit is not only to grow our diverse supplier spend, but also to create jobs across the state,” says Melanie Fisher, Senior Vice President of Supply Chain at Beaumont Health.
The organization has had some early wins. For example, when a patient requested a shampoo for African American hair not in the product catalog, the team networked with the HealthTrust program to identify a supplier that offered the ideal product. This can now help inform other hospitals. “We are piloting this product in one of our hospitals and will then introduce the supplier to HealthTrust,” says Gordon Spencer Matthews, Senior Director of Contracting and Supply Chain at Beaumont. “If we encountered this need, then one could assume there may be a need for this product at the national level.”
For hospitals looking to initiate a supplier diversity program, Matthews suggests understanding your baseline before setting goals. “You don’t need to reinvent the wheel,” he says. “Talk with HealthTrust and other hospitals, and get going.”
With more than 2,000 sites of care, including 186 hospitals in 20 states and the United Kingdom, HCA Healthcare is committed to expanding partnerships with a diverse range of businesses, including those owned and operated by people of color, women, veterans, members of the LGBTQ+ community, and members of socially and economically disadvantaged groups.
The organization’s goal over the next three years is to increase its annual spend with diverse suppliers by at least 10%.
“We believe a diversified supplier base is vital to our company’s growth and to the economic success of the communities we serve,” says Terry Deas, Assistant Vice President of Inclusion at HCA Healthcare.
A large part of the organization’s success has been through capital deployment in strengthening relationships with diverse suppliers to meet vendor and subcontractor needs. With new builds, upgrades and renovations in the works, HCA Healthcare continually has the opportunity to bring diverse suppliers to the table to competitively bid on projects throughout a multitude of product categories.
As one of the nation’s leading providers of healthcare services, business owners can leverage the organization’s scale when procuring materials and accessing capital for contracts. HCA Healthcare also provides mentoring and business development support for our contracted suppliers.
“Supplier diversity broadens HCA Healthcare’s base of vendors, ensures the organization can procure goods and services at the most optimal cost, and brings creativity and innovation into our supply chain processes,” Deas adds.
For more information on initiating a supplier diversity program at your organization or for guidance on taking your program to the next level, contact Janet McCain at firstname.lastname@example.org.Share Email