Those potential benefits include purchasing capital equipment such as exam room tables, waiting room furniture and office furniture, and even medical equipment such as imaging machines and ultrasounds.
"Capital equipment savings can be up to 50% through a GPO," Kitchens says. "There's a lot of opportunity for savings, especially for those physicians who are looking to offer more imaging and other services so they can remain in their practices and stay out of the hospital."
Many physician practices do not realize they are eligible to participate in a GPO, says Marty Heath, FACHE, director of product marketing at Provista. Practices will sometimes join together to make group purchases of specific items such as vaccines, but Heath says they would be better off joining a typical GPO.
"They're doing all the work of creating a structure to negotiate these contracts, when they could get those same sorts of discounts on vaccines and so many other things by just joining a GPO," Heath says.
Savings can be as high as 15% when using a GPO, Heath says. Special promotions often offer savings of 50% and sometimes even 70% off the retail price of capital purchases such as furniture, he says.
In addition, GPOs sometimes offer pharmaceutical savings of 15% or more, Heath says.