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Q:

Can you provide an outline for implementing an effective purchasing process for our 11-physician group? We have grown from 5 to 11 physicians in the past 17 months adding staff and services which require more supplies.

Comments:

Team leaders order for the respective departments (cost centers): 00 (administration), 01 (billing), 03 (clinical), 04 (diagnostics), 05 (front office), 06 (medical records), 07 (transcription).

We do have a form that staff complete, submit to team lead[er] who authorized the order. The madness occurs after the orders are placed, received, returned, etc.!!!

A:

Thank you for your question to Medical Management Associate's Ask a Consultant. Purchasing policies and inventory management is a broad subject which is often overlooked by medical practices. Many practices like your own may have effective components of a purchasing program, but have not developed a complete program.

The following are issues to consider in developing a purchasing program:

Even more important then purchasing, the control and distribution of supplies is critical in an inventory management system. There are many methods, manual and automated, that can assist in this component of the program.

Although there are many nuances to consider with each part of the program development process, this outline should give you a good start on developing an effective purchasing program.

While an effective purchasing program is important, especially in larger medical practices, we offer a word of caution. The intent of a purchasing program is to improve the financial efficiency of the operation. Do not allow the program to become so cumbersome that your staff spends more time adhering to the program than they do in more important areas of the practice.

Russell B. Still (bio...)
Executive Vice President

MMA does not provide legal, accounting, or tax advice.  If you need assistance in these areas, we recommend that you consult a qualified professional.  In addition, please note that a client relationship with MMA is not established by the submission of a question to this forum or by the publishing of MMA's response.



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