SUCCESS STORY | Cost Reduction 

Unique Provider Allied Services Engages with the Full Value of Intalere to Reduce Costs and Achieve New Levels of Success

The Challenge

Allied Services, the leading provider of healthcare and human services for northeastern Pennsylvanians with disabilities and chronic illness is a truly unique care provider. Founded in 1958, Allied’s 3,200 employees and volunteers serve nearly 5,000 people in 22 counties, providing:

•    Inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation.
•    Vocational/community services.
•    Home health.
•    Homecare.
•    Personal care.
•    Skilled/long-term care.
•    Transitional care.
•    Hospice.

“We have been fortunate to grow and serve based on the needs of the community,” said Vince Splendido, vice president of supply chain at Allied Services. “Our diversity is challenging. It’s not just the traditional med surg products and services, but there is lots of variety and special needs.”

When they engaged Intalere as their group purchasing organization in 2013, the first challenge was to learn and leverage as much about each other as possible in order to maximize the partnership.

“Allied Services is a unique healthcare facility that Intalere hadn’t previously experienced. It was a learning process for both Allied Services and Intalere to find a program tailored to our type of care and breadth of services,” said Splendido. “In addition to the cost reduction and quality of care enhancements we expected to gain through our association with Intalere, we were looking to establish a long-lasting, productive partnership that would bring the greatest benefit to our patients and the communities we serve.”

As with all providers in healthcare’s current landscape, Allied had to find ways to cut operational costs without decreasing quality of care, while dealing with implementation of new government mandates for equipment and protocols, and ever-increasing costs. Allied was also challenged with balancing a large portion of uncompensated care with the desire to maintain all current services.

The Solution

The Allied team, led by Splendido, Assistant Director David Caprari and Purchasing Manager Fred Roughsedge, set up weekly meetings and calls with their Intalere counterparts, led by director of member solutions Tom Toth, to review Intalere Savings Roadmaps and Opportunity Reports for cost reduction opportunities.

A dynamic reporting tool, Intalere Savings Roadmap®, analyzes and compares current spend with the Intalere portfolio. Facilities can analyze and review total spend by:

  • Contracts and tier commitment requirements.
  • Total spend per contract:
    • Current versus Intalere costs.
    • Savings opportunities.
    • Standardization status.
    • Product category.
By identifying realistic and actionable opportunities for savings, the tool helps prioritize the opportunities by developing the “Savings Roadmap” – an Excel tool that maximizes bottom-line impact and provides the staff support to implement the savings initiatives and the key supply chain dashboards to monitor, track and report savings through all levels of the organization.

The Opportunity Report is best suited for smaller providers or for providers that may have received an Intalere Savings Roadmap within the last six months and are looking to maintain momentum and focus on the available opportunities.

As with the Roadmap, the Opportunity Report highlights areas of opportunity for the provider. Those opportunities range from savings that can be quickly and easily realized by signing a Letter of Commitment, to conversion opportunities. All of the information is contained in an easy-to-read report.

The Outcome

“From the beginning, Intalere showed a genuine interest in our success,” said Roughsedge. “Using their data tools, they were able to dissect contracts in many different areas and chart a path to savings.” Allied was able to implement collaborative initiatives with Intalere in the areas of med surg, construction, nutrition, environmental services, pharmacy and laboratory. Nutrition was one of the largest areas of spend for Allied, which operates one of the largest cafeterias in the state of Pennsylvania.

In this case, and many others, Intalere’s field specialists worked directly with department directors to identify savings and quality standards. “They engage down to the department level – that’s where the real value is,” he said. “It’s just not the pricing, but the value-added services they provide.”

Allied also took full advantage of Intalere’s alliance initiative, taking a board seat on the Intalere Eastern Alliance. “The culture and cohesiveness of the group has afforded us the opportunity to reach an even higher level of success, further allowing our size and volume to reduce operational costs,” said Splendido. Allied served as a test site for a standardization project around surgical gloves which brought them $65,000 in direct savings while also engaging the clinical staff in the value analysis initiative to ensure enhanced product quality.

Allied’s initial goal of reducing operational costs by 2 percent was easily achieved, and the collaboration to bring savings and efficiency, both individually and through the Intalere alliance program, continues into other areas. “Now everyone knows,” said Roughsedge. “The Intalere name is recognized. The value is understood. There has been a true cultural change and awareness of what this collaboration has brought to our organization.”