Q&A: Finding a group purchasing organization

January 23, 2009

How would we go about finding a group purchasing organization? Are there any guidelines to keep in mind when shopping around for one?

Q: We are a 17-doctor pediatric practice, and we are very interested in finding a physicians' purchasing group that would partner with us to purchase vaccines. How would we go about finding such a group? Are there any guidelines to keep in mind when shopping around for one?

A: The first place to check is with your national specialty association, as many already have such plans in place. Second, talk to local hospitals to see whether they have discount-vendor relationships through a group-purchasing organization that might be extended to you. Also, contact your local and state medical societies to see if they have any suggestions. When looking into group purchasing, you need to make sure you are getting the best deals for your money. Often, group purchasing works out for the practices-but it may not be beneficial to go that route if you have to purchase an abundance of items just to get the discount.