Hospital Vendors Earn Millions for Range of Contract Services

by Mark Friedman  on Monday, Jan. 13, 2014 12:00 am  

“And we really have not seen those prices drop at all,” Peterson said.

Johnson Regional’s Morse said he is putting pressure on vendors to lower costs. “We would sit down and have a conversation with a supplier if our volumes were down about the cost of that service, absolutely,” Morse said.

The biggest single contract for physician services was $6.7 million. White County Medical Center in Searcy paid that amount to White County ER Physicians LLC of Judsonia for emergency room doctors for the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, 2012. The previous year the hospital paid a similar amount, $6.6 million, to the company.

Other Vendors

Hospitals are spending money on other services, from anesthesia to wound care.

But not all of the contracts were tied to patient care. Highly paid nonprofit vendors whose work is outside of health care include:

• Collection services. North Arkansas Regional Medical Center in Harrison paid $372,568 to NCO Financial Systems of Chicago for collections in the year that ended March 31, 2012. Washington Regional Medical Center in Fayetteville spent a little more than $1 million with Amcol of Columbia, S.C., for collection services for 2010 and 2011.

• Security. Crittenden Regional Hospital in West Memphis paid $155,552 to Imperial Guard Service of Memphis for security in 2011, which was down 5.7 percent from the previous year.

• Landscaping. GCE Inc. of Paragould received $363,077 for landscaping services from Arkansas Methodist Medical Center in Paragould for the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2011. Arkansas Methodist had built an assisted living facility, and GCE handled the landscaping work on the project, said the hospital’s CFO Brad Bloemer. Arkansas Methodist didn’t use GCE after the project was completed.

• Transcription, although that may be on the wane. In 2010, Baxter Regional paid $676,431 to Spheris of Franklin, Tenn., for transcription services. But Spheris wasn’t on the hospital’s list of highest-paid contractors in 2011. Peterson said the amount paid for transcription services had dropped in recent years “because of the implementation of electronic medical records.”

 

 

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