I recently attended the Health Industry Distributors Association’s (HIDA) Contract Administration Conference, held in mid-April in Orlando, Florida. This unique event brings together executives and contract administration professionals from across the healthcare supply chain—distributors, manufacturers, GPOs, and providers—all working to improve processes, reduce costs, and achieve pricing accuracy. This year’s group included approximately 175 contracting professionals who led discussions and roundtables aimed at adopting standards, developing best practices and reducing costs. After having attended this conference for the past three years, I noticed three predominate themes:
- Self-service is key to driving efficacies
We heard from Becton Dickinson (BD) and McKesson who discussed how they can now leverage a self-service portal to check pricing and eligibility for their common customer base. BD explained that they receive over 2,800 emails monthly related to pricing and eligibility, so having the ability to search and locate the information necessary to solve pricing problems is a win/win situation. The distributor is able to research the issue and take action immediately, resulting in a better end customer experience and most importantly, a reduction in the time and resources needed to research an issue. Model N is launching a similar platform that will allow distributors to see information for ALL Model N customers who opt-in—in one portal. This functionality will become even more efficient because instead of having to login to many different supplier’s websites, distributors can login and access all Model N customers from one location. Regardless of how you do it, self-service is key to reducing cost and creating a better customer experience.
- Automation of Sales and Contract Data is key and becoming an industry standard
In another panel, the finance team at Nestle discussed working with distributor partners to increase the accuracy of EDI sales and contract data. A one percent difference in the accuracy of chargeback data equates to more than 20,000 lines of errors for Nestle. Moreover, they expressed their ongoing push to require the data to be sent electronically via EDI. Currently, they’re at about 92% compliance with EDI vs manual sales data processing. Delivering information in an EDI format has been the norm in the Pharma space for years and now, finally, MedTech is starting to build financial penalties and incentives for not delivering information in an electronic EDI format. This is good news for our Model N customers, as our Revenue Cloud solution offers the ability to send and receive contract notifications and sales tracing data out-of-the-box.
- Blockchain is on everyone’s mind
In the final presentation, John Bass at Hashed Health described how healthcare is looking to model certain blockchain applications. Specifically of interest to this group were smart contracts and how they can change the healthcare landscape. Below are the four areas of impact I took away from the presentation as they relate to smart contracts:
- Programmable value transfer / tokenization
- Reduce administrative burden
- Connect payments and benefits / incentives
- Create new applications on top of shared, market-level data structures
This group meets annually but has many workgroups that I enjoy taking part of to help shape the standards for the industry and drive cost out of the process. I look forward to seeing everyone at HIDA’s Streamlining Conference in September! If you want to learn more about Model N and how we are helping to change the industry, please reach out to me at email@example.com.