Growing healthcare supply-chain and analytics company VHA Inc. will consolidate its North Texas operations next fall, taking occupancy of a former Associates Corp. headquarters facility in Irving.
The sprawling 300,000-square-foot campus, built in the late 1970s and early 1980s, has two addresses on East John Carpenter Freeway: 205 and 209. The property owner, Wolverine Equities, plans to spend $5 million renovating the space.
Rodney Waller, senior director of risk management, said VHA did a market analysis of Dallas-Fort Worth, and it clearly showed the ideal location was Las Colinas. “It’s really exciting. The interior will be completely demolished—it’s almost like a new project,” he said. “This allows the architects, interior designers, and engineers to create something unique for our company.”
The new finish out will be “contemporary and innovative,” he said, and support the collaborative culture of VHA.
The company’s local workforce of about 900, representing a 12 percent growth rate over the past five years, currently occupies space in different buildings. It has about 1,1500 total employees, with 15 regional offices across the country and staff in Washington, D.C.
Not to be confused with the Veterans Health Administration, VHA Inc. delivers supply-chain management services and creates opportunities for not-for-profit hospital members who work together to improve clinical and economic performance. It got its start in 1977 as an alliance of 30 hospital CEOs who wanted to share best practices.
VHA members buy medical supplies through Novation, VHA’s supply-contracting company. Provista, another VHA subsidiary, is a supply-chain improvement company that works with non-acute providers, for-profit hospitals and state hospital associations. It also owns Apexus, which assists safety-net providers in purchasing pharmaceuticals.
The company had an operating income of about $366 million in 2011. It serves more than 1,400 members, or about one out of four U.S. community hospitals. Last fall, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid awarded VHA funding to be one of 26 U.S. hospital networks that would strive to reduce hospital-acquired conditions by 40 percent and hospital readmissions by 20 percent by the end of 2013, compared to 2010.
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation also awarded VHA a three-year grant to expand the patient-centered medical home into a patient-centered medical neighborhood that connects hospitals with primary care, specialty and subspecialty practices in 16 U.S. cities.
The company last month launched a collaborative think tank called Center for Applied Healthcare Studies. VHA and health policy experts plan to address issues such as value-based payment models and the challenge of reduced reimbursements because of health reform. The group will develop and evaluate pilot projects.
Colleen Risk, executive vice president for human resources and member networks, said the health reform has fueled VHA’s business. Healthcare organizations are seeking to offset declining revenue with supply-chain efficiencies.
Risk said, “We have always done contracting. That’s not good enough anymore. We’ve really invested in analytics to help members gain efficiencies in their own supply chains. They want help in understanding the changing, more value-based environment.”
Steve Jacob is editor of D Healthcare Daily and author of the new book Health Care in 2020: Where Uncertain Reform, Bad Habits, Too Few Doctors and Skyrocketing Costs Are Taking Us. He can be reached at email@example.com.