Published 9/1/2010
Steven E. Fisher, MBA

A simple way to cut office expenses

The AAOS Group Purchasing Program, Powered by eSurg, can help

According to the 2008 Orthopaedic Practice Benchmarking Survey conducted by the American Association of Orthopaedic Executives, the average orthopaedic surgeon spends nearly $34,000 for medical supplies. Supply expenses equal nearly 3 percent of an average office’s total collections.

Given today’s environment of decreasing reimbursements and increasing expenses (staff salaries, benefits, professional liability insurance, and occupancy costs), it’s no wonder that medical practices are looking to save money whenever possible. Believe it or not, saving on medical, surgical, and drug supplies is possible—especially with the AAOS group purchasing program.

More products, new features
The AAOS has long partnered with eSurg, the low-cost provider of high-quality medical supplies. The relationship has helped AAOS members fine tune their “supply spending,” discover new ways to optimize office net revenue, and ultimately build a better practice. Recently, eSurg, now a unit of Henry Schein, introduced the following operational improvements:

  • An expanded product selection—Now you can choose from more than 100,000 national and private brand items. Why buy from multiple sources, when you can get it all here?
  • Online product images—See exactly what you’re getting. If you already know what you want, simply turn the “product image” feature off for faster loading.
  • Easy navigation—Check the left navigation tabs for Medical/Surgical, Pharmaceutical, Office Supply, and Equipment categories. Faster navigation translates to quicker ordering, which improves staff productivity.
  • Enhanced search feature—Search by keyword, item number, or manufacturer name.
  • Multiple EZ Orders—Create as many shopping lists as you need, by area or function within the practice.
  • Easy reorders—Use the “Order From History” feature to search, view, or select previously purchased items. The recurring orders feature automates orders based on frequency or lets you delay orders to future dates.
  • Online returns: Submitting a return is easy using this online interface.

Saving time and money
Online shopping for supplies is now faster and easier than ever. Promotional offers let practices take advantage of manufacturer specials, new products, and special discounts. The “Live Chat” feature enables practice staff to communicate directly with an eSurg representative to obtain a quick response to any inquiry with one click from the home page.

Practices also have access to 14 different standardized reporting options, including item utilization, chemical inventory, and items on backorder. The chemical inventory is particularly useful in the event of a manufacturer recall. A “wizard” feature enables you to filter by date ranges, categories, or other key words.

Finally, practices can now also make major capital equipment purchases via the program. The bottom line is that the AAOS Group Purchasing Program powered by eSurg offers solo and smaller offices access to Group Purchasing Organization pricing usually available only to larger practices.

To see if the program is right for you, ask eSurg to undertake a Competitive Savings Analysis (CSA). Simply fax a recent medical/surgical product order toll free to (877) 463-7874, together with item numbers, prices paid, and quantities. Be sure to include contact information on your end. A company representative will follow up and provide you with information regarding how much money you can save and on which items.

A no-lose proposition
Because AAOS members do not pay any enrollment or participation fees and there are no annual minimum order requirements, you can purchase from eSurg as frequently or infrequently as you like. The program is simply designed to help you manage your overhead and operate as efficiently and effectively as possible.

Why not give it a try? You can access the program at www.aaos.org/esurg

Steven E. Fisher, MBA, is manager of the AAOS practice management group; he can be reached at (847) 384-4331 or sfisher@aaos.org

Do you know… ?

  1. How much your office spends each year on medical and surgical supplies on a per-doctor basis?
  2. How much your office spends on such supplies as a percent of your total Net Medical Revenue?
  3. How your outlays for medical and surgical supplies compare with the outlays of other orthopaedic surgeons?
  4. When the last time was that you price shopped for supplies?
  5. That AAOS offers a group purchasing program for members for medical and surgical supplies?
  6. That practices using the AAOS program have saved, on average, 20 percent on their purchases of medical and surgical supplies?
  7. That you could be saving as well? Just visit www.aaos.org/esurg