Group Purchasing Organizations Announce Readiness to Adopt Standards to Identify Health Care Provider Locations

Washington, D.C. (October 14, 2010) - Moving months ahead of the healthcare industry's own ambitious schedule, group purchasing organizations today announced readiness to adopt standards for healthcare provider locations. Other industry wide partners will also need to be ready to successfully implement the standards. The change is
the start towards greater safety, efficiency and cost-savings to the U.S. healthcare system.

The Board of Directors of the Health Industry Group Purchasing Association (HIGPA) have unanimously agreed to a Declaration of Readiness, noting they are prepared to adopt Global Location Numbers (GLNs) to identify precise locations for every healthcare
provider in the United States.

Currently, there is no uniform standard for uniquely identifying the location of providers or medical products within the healthcare supply chain. The healthcare industry had previously established a "sunrise" date of December 31, 2010 to have a system in place for uniquely identifying the location of healthcare providers and the HIGPA announcement underscores the progress that has been made in bringing greater commonsense uniformity to the healthcare supply chain.

"This is a quiet change that will have an enormous impact," said HIGPA President Curtis Rooney. "Right now, there is no reliable system in place to know where essential healthcare providers are located. The adoption of GLNs by GPO's is the first step toward better ensuring that the right products are delivered to the right location. It is important all healthcare supply chain entities also adopt these standards. The next step will be the implementation of Global Trade Item Numbers (GTINs) by December 31, 2012. GTINs will standardize the unique identification of every medical product. Having a single, nationwide system in effect will increase patient safety, efficiency, and reduce costs."

Rooney said, even more importantly, knowing the location of healthcare products will speed product recalls and better ensure that patients aren't treated with the wrong medical supplies. Also, he said, the country will be better equipped, in the event of a public health crisis, to rapidly locate essential healthcare providers and medical supplies.

Rooney said, "In this day and age, it is unthinkable that the healthcare industry is still challenged to know where every item in their inventory is located. There's no question we need to bring that capability to the health care products that directly affect our lives and well-being. We're ready to take that first important step toward necessary progress."

Endorsing Group Purchasing Organizations
Amerinet, Inc. MedAssets
Child Health Corporation of America Novation, LLC
Consorta, Inc. Premier healthcare alliance
GNYHA Ventures, Inc. Provista
HealthTrust Purchasing Group HPS
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About HIGPA

The Health Industry Group Purchasing Association (HIGPA) is a broad-based trade association that represents 16 group purchasing organizations, including for-profit and not-for-profit corporations, purchasing groups, associations, multi-hospital systems and healthcare provider alliances. HIGPA's mission is to advocate on behalf of health care
group purchasing associations, to provide educational opportunities designed to improve efficiencies in the purchase, sale and utilization of all goods and services within the health industry and to promote meaningful dialogue between GPOs. For more information, visit www.higpa.org.

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