Q&A with Chuck Lauer

by Loren Bonner, DOTmed News Online Editor | April 17, 2014
Chuck Lauer
From the April 2014 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

This year marks the 20th year anniversary of the IDN Summit and Reverse Expo — a show that has become a major event for health system supply chain executives. The spring conference gets underway April 7-9 at the Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate in Orlando, Fla. The two-day conference is not only a networking opportunity for group purchasing organizations and supply chain executives, but it also gives them a chance to participate in presentations and educational events. For the past four years, Chuck Lauer, former publisher of Modern Healthcare, has moderated a leadership panel where he engages hospital executives on a range of topics. He spoke with DOTmed HealthCare Business News about what participants can look forward to in April.

HCBN: You’ve been a featured speaker and moderator for several IDN summits through the years. Why do you keep coming back?
A couple of reasons. I retired from Modern Healthcare in 2008. I had not planned my retirement and I got a little itchy three months in. I got a call one day from a man named John Kelly — the CEO of IDN — who had purchased the IDN Summit and Reverse Expo from Greg Firestone, someone I knew and who had actually asked me to speak at IDN Summit years before. John and I eventually met and he asked me if I could advise him. Then he asked if I could put together a panel of CEOs for the show and moderate it. I did that for the spring show, and the response was enthusiastic. Based on that success, he asked if I could do one in the fall too. And I did it again even though it was a challenge to get CEOs to appear because of their time constraints. Now it’s been about four years of moderating and putting together these panels for both the spring and fall meetings. I enjoy it and I like John. He’s a terrific guy with good values.

HCBN: How have you seen the show develop and change through the years?
For one, I’ve seen attendance increase in numbers. The show is also more relevant now than it had been before – it’s not just about getting together and feeling good. The industry has been under a bit of duress the last few years because of the Affordable Care Act. The cost of health care is through the roof and the government – that pays a lot of the bills – is asking questions. Whether you are a for-profit or not-for-profit system, this is a business today and if you want to run an organization that is financially viable, you have to keep an eye on costs and that’s where supply chain executives come in because there’s been so much waste in that area previously.

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