I was reading a recent article in a general practitioner magazine that predicted that hundreds of medical practices faced closure because of changes to the commissioning approach. Practices are moving maintaining profits up their agenda and several have started to find new ways to reduce their costs.
Better buying is one such strategy. Savvy practices are securing sizeable discounts on a wide range of services, including flu and travel vaccines, medical equipment, energy and telephone bills and locum insurance. In fact, a Mansfield practice recently reported that it had saved 42% on its annual stationery bill and had found 15% savings on medical equipment supplies.
Whilst company websites and sales managers will offer seemingly attractive discounts, a professional purchasing approach will invariably yield much greater cost savings. One word of caution: be careful to avoid lengthy contract lock-in or minimum order volumes in exchange for discounts. If the supplier values your business, they will work with you to reduce costs. If their position is immovable then you should think about developing an alternate supplier or switching.
Whatever strategy you choose, do not make the same mistake as government offices in Romania, which decided to cut costs by turning off the lifts! Government officials in Botosani, in the north, decreed that lifts at the county council offices will only work only between 7am-9am and 3pm-5pm!