As far as pushbacks go, one that I have probably heard the most in my almost-four years here at WestCMR is in regards to contract pricing. I think many buyers assume that because they have contract pricing for a specific manufacturer, there couldn’t possibly be a better alternative. If they are willing to have the conversation, I am always happy to inform them that this isn’t necessarily the case.
We often come across facilities or entire health systems that are unaware of just how weak their contract pricing is that they are receiving. Whether it be for items we can supply on a consistent basis, or something they need to keep on the shelf “just in case,” WestCMR is consistently competitive (or flat out significantly better) than the contract pricing they get, while holding these facilities to no commitment of minimum spend.
Another example is the “hold out surgeon.” When a hospital or a health system goes through a conversion, the contract pricing applies to the manufacturer that was converted to, but what about the surgeons who preferred the old line? We would be able to appease them with their products of choice, all while providing a significant cost savings.
There absolutely can be benefits to contracts. They wouldn’t exist if there weren’t! The important thing that we need to be asking our customers, as well as our customers should be asking themselves is: how can we do better?