GPOs Rethink Diagnostics
As major GPOs come under pressure from a variety of sources they are refining their approach to laboratory purchasing, with ramifications for suppliers. Groups are getting tougher on compliance and contracting with fewer lab vendors but the trade-off is less choice for lab members. The more the purchasing process restricts vendors, the more it benefits a few at the expense of many.
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Hospital laboratory consolidation, underway for several years, is having mixed success as the market shifts. For suppliers, things are unlikely to settle down soon. Successful labs claim to be committed to a common vision and to swift action to institute painful changes. But other labs are stymied by politics, lack of top management support, and reluctance to make difficult decisions quickly. Manufacturers' expectations that consolidation would lead to standardization of equipment and a winner-take-all mentality are starting to come to pass. But the customer base continues to be in more flux than expected.
Thermo Fisher Scientific has agreed to buy Mesa Biotech for $450m in cash and Hillrom will acquire Bardy Diagnostics for $375m in cash. Both deals will add complementary digital health solutions, which may be a continued trend in 2021.
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