EARLIER THIS MONTH, two large physician GPOs (group purchasing organizations) announced that they had signed national agreements with a company that would “provide in-office pathology laboratories to their gastroenterology, urology, and dermatology member physicians.”
The pathology company is the Twincrest Group of Cleveland, Ohio. The GPOs are International Gastroenterology Network (IGN) and International Urology Network (IUN). These groups are part of International Physician Networks (IPN), a specialty group subsidiary of Americasource- Bergen Corporation of Chesterbrook, Pennsylvania. The company is a pharmaceutical distributor and provides a variety of logistical services to hospitals, pharmacies, physicians, and other types of healthcare providers.
Help with Pathology Labs
“Our partnership with TwinCrest assists us in accomplishing a key objective for our members,” stated Tom O’Rorke, Director, Sales and Marketing of IPN. “Practices that utilize the TwinCrest program can expect improved productivity and a higher standard of patient care while at the same time realizing a new revenue stream for their practice…[It will] help our practices defray the increasing expenses of running a practice today.”
The national agreement between Twincrest Group and these two specialty physician networks is the latest sign of the serious interest that gastroenterologists and urologists have for anatomic pathology services. Moreover, GPOs tend to sign contracts with vendors whose services are in high demand by GPO members. So it is likely that these new contracts between Twincrest and the IGN and IUN GPOs were in response to the interest shown by their physician members in establishing in-house anatomic pathology laboratories.
Twincrest Group will help member physicians of the two GPOs design, build, and operate their own pathology laboratories. Twincrest Group will also assist specialist physician groups contract for professional services with pathologists. Twincrest has already established these types of relationships for physician clients in Ohio and New Jersey.
The national agreements between Twincrest Group, IGN, and IUN have the potential to involve many gastroenterology and urology groups. IGN says it has 1,000 physician members. IUN claims to have 4,500 physician members.
Pathologists and practice administrators should take note of this new development. It has the potential to place additional pressure on local pathology groups as their long-time gastroenterology and urology clients establish in-house pathology labs.