Announcement of Public Workshop, "Examining Health Care Competition" ("Health Care Workshop") Project No. P13-1207
Since the 1940s, blood centers supply blood to their communities. BloodSource is one of 60+ independent blood centers in the US and serves over 40 hospitals in Northern California. As a non-profit organization our Mission is to provide blood and services to those in need. Our focus remains steadfast amidst intense cost pressures and emerging competition in our industry. We employ 500 licensed and non-licensed professionals, including phlebotomists, clinical laboratory scientists, nurses and physicians. BloodSource is developing long-term solutions to economic challenges by providing value through optimized patient care, not simple price concessions. In partnering with hospitals, we help contain costs and improve patient outcomes. BloodSource utilizes regulatory compliance as a competitive advantage. Compliance at the highest level is our hallmark. We embrace quality and maintain a strong record of compliance with the FDA and other regulators. We invest more on education, training, and compliance than most in our industry. Our focus allows us to maintain the highest standards of blood manufacturing. Our strong quality record affords the hospitals we serve a greater focus on patient outcomes. A similar yet classic example lies in the approaches taken by Toyota and GM in response to early seatbelt legislation. As new standards were enacted, American car manufacturers squandered resources fighting the change; meanwhile Toyota began installing seatbelts. Competitive advantage went to the early adopter and vehicle passengers were the ultimate winner as safety measures decreased driving fatalities. BloodSource is a leader in alternative professional qualifications. We instigated educational programs to qualify laboratory staff. As an alternative to general Clinical Laboratory Scientist (medical technologist) certification, BloodSource developed 52-week training programs for Clinical Immunohematology Scientists and Clinical Histocompatibility Scientists, both of which received California state endorsement. Healthcare costs can be reduced by reviewing historic practices. BloodSmart, our blood management program, is one example. BloodSource has practiced blood management for decades and has data to demonstrate our success. Patients receive the most appropriate transfusions, resulting in better care and in many cases, lower healthcare costs overall. We have significantly reduced transfusion rates in hospitals we serve. Currently the US national average is 49 red blood cell (RBC) transfusions per 1000 population. BloodSource hospitals transfuse 31 RBC per 1000 population. At conservatively average price points for blood components, the projected savings is ~$2,700 per 1000 population. Hospital systems served by BloodSource realize an average of $5 million in annual savings through lower RBC transfusions. Innovation and efficiency are both critical elements of competitive edge. BloodSource introduced two new blood products with many benefits that include further mitigating risks associated with transfusions, savings in hospital compatibility testing, and reducing patient transfusions. BloodSource also boasts the nation's best in production of apheresis platelet components. Classic production efficiencies are sought - obtaining the optimal number of components from each donation, while maintaining strict adherence to eligibility requirements and physician monitoring of donor safety. Innovation, efficiency, strong relationships, quality-focus and flexibility combine to make BloodSource successful. Through these initiatives, we have granted $12 million in fee reductions to hospitals and invested $8 million in quality initiatives in recent years. Our commitment to our Mission has never wavered. As the blood industry evolves, providing high quality blood products at reasonable cost is essential to remain viable and competitive. We must remain steadfast that the ultimate benefactor in these efforts is, and will always be, the patient.