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GHX closes Medical Columbus buy

by Thomas Dworetzky, Contributing Reporter | November 01, 2018
Business Affairs
Global Healthcare Exchange (GHX), which provides cloud-based supply chain technology, solutions, analytics, and services in the healthcare space, has closed its acquisition of Germany-based Medical Columbus AG.

Financial details weren't given for the deal, which boosts the European supply chain and products portfolio for GHX.

“Our mission at GHX is to remove costs from healthcare, and the completion of this acquisition helps us further that goal,” GHX CEO and president, Bruce Johnson, said in a statement, adding, “With the products and talent we’re adding from Medical Columbus, GHX is broadening a global trading partner network in Europe that will benefit multinational suppliers and local European provider customers alike to deliver cost and process efficiencies.”

GHX offerings include procurement and accounts payable automation, contract and inventory management, vendor credentialing and management, business intelligence, payment management and “other supply chain-related tools and services,” according to the company.

The deal was first announced in July, at which time Johnson noted that the assets and talent being acquired would be “a tremendous addition” that would expand “our footprint” in Europe.

CEO at Medical Columbus Dirk Isenberg highlighted the deal's potential “to help drive down costs in healthcare, allowing our customers access to best of breed e-catalogue and e-procurement solutions.”

Medical Columbus, founded in 1998, is considered an e-health pioneer in the areas of procurement processes, with a transaction platform that synchronizes IT systems and catalog data from hospitals, medical device makers and the pharmaceutical industry.

In 2015, Tina Vatanka Murphy, now chief revenue officer for GHX, weighed in on the traditionally high costs in the field compared with others as part of a 64-organization roundtable that looked at the issue in the October 2015 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine.

“Because the supply chain crosses organizational boundaries, the actions of one party impact all of the parties with which it transacts business. This can result in unintentional but very real costs,” she wrote at the time.

The roundtable's top-five cost boosters included:

• Mistrust and lack of communication (between the right people)
• Freight charges and excess inventory
• The complexities of healthcare contracting
• The shadow supply chain (clinical involvement in the supply chain)

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