The Catalyst … accelerating business growth in healthcare

Premier Renews Agreement with CTC

Posted by Jessica Hartman DeVore on Mon, Sep 17, 2012 @10:14 AM

Premier renews agreement with Compression Therapy Concepts

Premier Inc (Charlotte, NC) renewed its agreement with Compression Therapy Concepts (CTC) (Eatontown, NJ) for DVT Compression products for an additional three years. The contract covers both the national agreement as well as a sole source renewal for ASCEND members. The product line was also expanded to include environmentally friendly garments. CTC is the only company in this category of products to receive Practice Greenhealth Certification.

Tags: Essential Healthcare Management, Schroeder, Ripullo, GPO

Melinda McDonald Joins EHM Team

Posted by Jessica Hartman DeVore on Wed, Aug 15, 2012 @12:05 PM


Essential Healthcare Management (EHM) has announced that healthcare industry veteran Melinda McDonald has joined EHM as Senior Vice President. Most recently, Melinda was Vice President, Non-Clinical Products and Services for Children’s Hospital Association, formerly Child Health Corporation of America (CHCA).  In that role, she managed a portfolio of over 100 agreements representing over $40M in spend.  Melinda was instrumental in starting and developing this role at CHCA. Savings in one year for the hospital participants was close to $6M.  In addition to managing the portfolio of agreements, Melinda also developed new suppliers, assisted them in working with hospitals and increased their revenues. She has an outstanding reputation with suppliers and helping them to succeed.

“We are very happy to add to our growing company, a person of such great experience, skill and professionalism as Melinda.  She will bring real world contracting experience to her role representing suppliers, specifically in the purchased services area, which is growing in visibility to the contracting world.  We look forward to a very productive relationship with Ms. McDonald and welcome her aboard,” EHM Managing Partner Stan Schroeder commented.

Prior to her work with the CHCA Group Purchasing Services division, Melinda was responsible for the Executive Institute.  The Executive Institute was a membership organization with CHCA comprised of CEOs, COOs, CFOs, and CNOs.  Her responsibilities included formulating a yearly business plan for the Executive Institute, planning and facilitating three meetings per year for the CEOs, coordinating deliverables and projects for the Executive Institute, and marketing and selling the Executive Institute for renewals every year.

Melinda also held a position at Saint Luke’s Health System in Kansas City, Missouri.  She was instrumental in the development of a Women’s Heart Center, as well as various programming for women.  Melinda’s other responsibilities included developing advertising campaigns for print, radio and television, as well as handling team and event sponsorships.  She also worked with the team charged with purchasing physician practices.

Melinda began her career with Xerox Corporation.  Her last assignment was an account executive handling transportation and advertising agencies.  She attended the Xerox sales school, as well as other sales and account management training programs.

In her new role at EHM, McDonald will be responsible for creating and developing national accounts programs for EHM clients, specializing in the purchased services area.

Melinda received her Bachelor of Business Administration from Georgia Southern University and her MBA from the University of Kansas.

Tags: Essential Healthcare Management, Schroeder, Ripullo, teamwork

EHM February 2012 Newsletter

Posted by Jessica Hartman DeVore on Wed, Feb 29, 2012 @09:41 AM

Essential Healthcare Management Newsletter February 2012
EHM Team

Healthcare Professionals

In 2011, Essential Healthcare Management tripled in size.  Frank Ripullo and Stan Schroeder, EHM founders and managing partners, increased EHM’s strength with a team of healthcare experts who have over 100 years of experience in the healthcare world. We would like to enthusiastically introduce Daren Kneeland, Espen Kateraas, Michael Pola, Nancy Kailas, and Jeff Hayes.

EHM 2011 Recap

2011 was a breakthrough year for Essential Healthcare Management.  We expanded our team from two people to nine.  Frank and I are so proud to have such quality individuals join our team and bring their enviable skills, experience and network with them.  Our team is now comprised of people with experience across industries, various disciplines of the healthcare field, sales, product development, management, and corporate accounts  - among others. describe the image

In addition EHM also added services to our offering that are very timely in today’s healthcare market.  We now provide the following for suppliers: GPO fee, Commission, and On-Demand Reporting; Rebate/Chargeback Processing; and Sales Data Collection.

We also are able to help hospitals and IDN’s with Procurement, Supply Chain Management, Human Capital Optimization and Revenue Cycle Management, through our partnership with The Optime Group.

I’m also proud to report that for a third straight year we enjoy a strategic partnership with MDSI.  This allows us to offer the MAX database, Online Education Modules, and other tools as part of our EHM plan.

In 2011 EHM garnered 27 national GPO contracts on behalf of 14 different clients.  We took our original client  (yes, they still like us) to their fifth national contract and helped them to reach a revenue level that is 25 times what it was four years ago.

We implemented our clients’ GPO agreements to the tune of 38 IDN enhancements/standardization agreements, set up five strategic partnerships, and helped to create over $43 million in new year over year revenue! 

2012 promises to be another year of expansion and excitement!  With all of the uncertainty in the economy, the medical industry, and the future – we have taken it upon ourselves at EHM to become (or align ourselves with) experts in the ever-changing world of healthcare.  Our goal is the same as it was on our first day:

To help suppliers reach new levels of success via smart contracting, strong implementation and honest hard work – helping improve the lives of patients and caregivers in the process.

Thanks to all of our clients, partners, friends, associates and families for such a fantastic year!  We look forward to continued success in 2012 and beyond! 


By: Stan Schroeder, Managing Partner, EHM

What is your foundation?  Throughout my young life I spent a lot of time at the home of my grandparents in my small hometown in rural South Dakota.  I remember their home as a place of security and serenity.  I look back and appreciate the sanctuary this provided.  I think of that house as my starting point.  My foundation. describe the image

Everyone needs a strong foundation, or platform, from which to launch and lead their life.  Modern life and the mobility (of jobs, houses, and locations) that comes with it leads many of us to operate from a more theoretical, less tangible foundation.

For many it is their faith.  For others their fidelity to spouse and family.  We in the healthcare industry are lucky to have as a an additional foundation for our lives the steadfast focus on improving patients’ lives and making it easier for caregivers to do their jobs.

I always say that it makes it easier to get up in the morning and go to work knowing that I can positively effect the life of someone or family that is in the midst of a medical issue.  The companies and people we represent provide services, products and equipment that accomplish that goal everyday. 

As we grow older and become reflective about purpose, legacy and giving back we also often are in the midst of the most hectic, pressure filled years of our careers.  For those of us in the healthcare industry it is fantastic to have a job and purpose in life that are in sync.

On days when I find myself consumed with growing our business and making things happen, whether that day is filled with good or bad news, I remind myself of how fortunate I am to be able to give back through helping in healthcare.

As we forge ahead in healthcare in 2012 and determine how to overcome massive obstacles that have evolved over decades but must be fixed soon, let us not forget how lucky we are to have the ability to improve people’s lives everyday through our work.

My grandmother no longer lives in that house I loved.  My grandfather is no longer with us.  We have lived in five houses and three different cities in the last ten years.

My foundation now is my family.  But so too is my chosen vocation.  What is yours?



By: Rob Bahna, Vice President of Sales, Resuscitation International

The first month of 2012 is under our belt.
What have you accomplished towards your personal and professional goals so far in 2012? Before you know it, it will be the end of the 1st quarter, with the end of the 2nd quarter not far behind. Get started now.

I don't believe you can make someone "motivated" unless they are self-motivated, and have a drive to succeed and win. However - I do believe we all can benefit from reading motivational sayings, books or hearing motivational stories.
On a recent flight, I had the opportunity to watch the movie, A Dolphin Tale. The film was inspired by a true story. When the dolphin was only three months old, she was found tangled in a crab trap line off Florida’s East Coast. She was rescued and transported to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium (CMA), where she faced a long road to recovery. Her injuries were so serious that she lost her tail and two vertebrae. The odds were against her, but she survived thanks to her energetic spirit and ability to adapt.

In the movie she inspires others with disabilities to press forward. If you have not seen the movie it is worth seeing. She plays herself in the movie and it is a nice change of pace in the cynical world we live in.

I thought I would share a few motivational quotes as we start the month.
 “People who are unable to motivate themselves must be content with mediocrity, no matter how impressive their other talents..”
- Andrew Carnegie
“Nothing is impossible; there are ways that lead to everything, and if we have sufficient will, we should always have sufficient means. It is often, merely for an excuse, that we say things are impossible.”
-Francois La Rochefoucauld

“You can do anything if you have enthusiasm. Enthusiasm is the yeast that makes your hopes rise to the stars. With it, there is accomplishment. Without it, there are only alibis.”
- Henry Ford
“Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success.”
- Stephen A. Brennan
 “I learned that if you want to make it bad enough, no matter how bad it is, you can make it.”
- Gale Sayers
“It doesn't matter where you are coming from. All that matters is where you are going.“
- Brian Tracy
“The reason most people never reach their goals is that they don't define them, or ever seriously consider them as believable or achievable. Winners can tell you where they are going, what they plan to do along the way, and who will be sharing the adventure with them.”
- Denis Watley
“Don't be afraid your life will end; be afraid that it will never begin. “

- Hansen, Grace
“Life is partly what we make it, and partly what it is made by the friends we choose.”
- Tehyi, Hsieh
“Destiny is not a matter of chance; it is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for; it is a thing to be achieved.”
- William Jennings Bryan 

“Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no help at all. “
- Dale Carnegie
“Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish.”
- John Quincy Adams
“How long should you try? Until.”
- Jim Rohn

“Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.”
- John Wooden
“What would you attempt to do if you knew you would not fail? “
- Robert Schuller
“Do a little more each day than you think you possibly can. “
- Lowell Thomas
“You can’t build a reputation on what you're going to do. “
- Henry Ford
“I think there is something, more important than believing: Action! The world is full of dreamers, there aren't enough who will move ahead and begin to take concrete steps to actualize their vision. “
- W. Clement Stone
“There are costs and risks to a program of action, but they are far less than the long-range risks and costs of comfortable inaction.”
- John F. Kennedy
 “As I grow older, I pay less attention to what men say. I just watch what they do. “
- Andrew Carnegie
“Character isn't inherited. One builds it daily by the way one thinks and acts, thought by thought, action by action.”
- Helen Gahagan Douglas

Choose to have a great month, and then make it happen; because simply visualizing success and hoping for it -- won't make it happen. 

The Healthcare Market Litmus Test

Published By: Accolades PR

At EHM we understand the need for dynamic, effective P.R. and Marketing. Here is some valuable information from our partner, Accolades PR :

It's a new year, filled with new resolutions, new ventures, and new ways of doing business. Do you know what the biggest change in modern business has been? It has been the meteoric rise of online marketing.

A recent Hubspot research study revealed some staggering results. They found that the average budget spent on social media has doubled in the last two years. Impressive, no? But that’s not the hook. Here’s the real take-away:

Sales leads gained from these web-based inbound marketing campaigns cost 62% less than traditional outbound marketing!

What does this mean for you and your business? It means you can revolutionize your marketing, generate far more leads, and provide more stability for your company… for far less. To learn more...


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Tags: Essential Healthcare Management, Schroeder, Ripullo, Essential Healthcare

EHM leading Uresil in corporate accounts strategy efforts

Posted by Frank Ripullo on Tue, Jul 12, 2011 @04:34 PM

Recently, EHM was tapped by Uresil, LLC to lead the company's national corporate accounts strategy.  Uresil is a medical supplier developing, manufacturing and distributing products that serve the needs of physicians who perform minimally invasive procedures.  Since 1986, the company has produced high-quality, unique, medical products for use in interventional radiology and vascular procedures.

“As healthcare treatments continue to trend toward cost efficiency, Uresil will continue to lead competitors with breakthrough products and a centralized production model,” said EHM founder and managing partner Frank Ripullo.  “At EHM, we share the same innovative spirit that drives Uresil. We look forward to continuing to work with Uresil on their national accounts strategy.”

With new federal regulations changing the healthcare landscape, EHM is growing into a thought leader and educating clients on how the changes affect their business development prospects. EHM guides clients through the procurement process and helps companies present their offerings to key decision-makers and target audiences.

For more information on how EHM is helping Uresil, please read our press release.

Tags: Essential Healthcare Management, Ripullo, Essential Healthcare, EHM, healthcare, healthcare suppliers, gpos, IDNs, integrated delivery networks, medical devices, GPO, sales, business growth, strategic thinking, business development

The Virtues of the Outsourcing Model, Part 4: Examining Culture

Posted by Stan Schroeder on Wed, May 11, 2011 @10:11 AM

In our final installment on the virtues of the outsourcing model, we examine the third factor you should consider when evaluating whether outsourcing could improve the productivity and financial climate of your company. Robert Ryan’s position paper on the topic of outsourcing posited that restructuring how companies utilize their human capital, or, in other words, their workforce in-house and elsewhere, will affect how profitable they will be in the future. Ryan suggests that by increasing a company’s agility, or the speed at which they are able to adapt, it will be more likely to weather the many changes to come in the business world.

We have already examined how capacity and capability can affect a company’s decision to outsource. Culture ranks as the third factor that should be considered before making the leap to outsourcing. As Ryan asks, “Do the current organizational norms and values support the development and implementation of the strategy?”

While culture can also refer to the acceptability of this practice in a certain office, it also relates to the acceptability of outsourcing in a particular industry. Ryan points to technology as an industry particularly well-suited to outsourcing. “Competition for specialized technological expertise is found on the world market,” he writes. “With the rise of efficient collaboration capabilities, services can be found in many emerging countries of the world…. Because of technology improvements, work groups can all be brought into our living rooms.”

The health care industry also offers a culture that allows for ad hoc collaboration to fill any gaps in capacity and capability that may exist in one company. Here at EHM we not only serve as the link to connecting health care suppliers with the group purchasing organizations (GPOs), accountable care organizations (ACOs) and integrated delivery networks (IDNs), but we can also handle all of your marketing, advertising and selling needs for you. If you need help determining if these options are right for you, contact us, and we can talk you through the entire process and answer any questions that you have.

Tags: Essential Healthcare Management, Schroeder, Ripullo, marketing, EHM, healthcare, hospitals, ACO, Accountable Care Organizations, healthcare suppliers, HHS, Regulations on ACOs, ACO Regulations, ACOs and suppliers, HHS Regulations, gpos, outsourcing model, IDNs, integrated delivery networks, patient satisfaction

The Virtues of the Outsourcing Model, Part 3: Examining Capability

Posted by Stan Schroeder on Thu, May 05, 2011 @09:59 AM

Over the past two weeks, we have begun to examine the outsourcing model and how to determine if it is right for your company. Over the past decade, outsourcing has become more of a reality than ever before thanks to technological advances that allow people to work together no matter where their office is.

Last week, diminished staff capacity in light of the economic downturn was discussed. Capability serves as the counterpart to capacity. Without the optimal staff capacity a company has become accustomed to, its capability surely will be diminished as well. And from there, performance may begin to decline as a result. This is what all companies hope to avoid in the face of layoffs. As fewer employees take on more work, quality begins to suffer, and previously handled tasks begin to fall down the cracks.

The leading causes of a decline in capability will be the loss of institutional experience, knowledge, special skills and historical competencies. In addition to layoffs because of economic constraints, the generational shift in the workforce likely will also contribute to diminished capability. Because younger workers are likely to work at five to six times as many companies as their older counterparts, their own general business acumen is likely to suffer as well. Instead, these workers will only have the time to learn the one aspect of the company they are involved in as opposed to receiving the institutional, years-long education of how an organization runs that their parents did. As Robert Ryan states in his position paper on outsourcing, “The generational trend is toward specialization, further diluting the general business cognition.”

With layoffs and the generational shift of the workforce, companies will begin to see gaps in their capabilities. That is where outsourcing comes in. How have you used outsourcing to fill capability gaps?


Tags: Essential Healthcare Management, Schroeder, Ripullo, EHM, healthcare, ACO, Accountable Care Organizations, healthcare suppliers, HHS, ACO Regulations, ACOs and suppliers, HHS Regulations, gpos, outsourcing model, integrated delivery networks

The Virtues of the Outsourcing Model, Part 2: Examining Capacity

Posted by Stan Schroeder on Wed, Apr 27, 2011 @10:13 AM

As discussed in last week’s post, economic difficulties and technological advances have combined to make outsourcing more of a compelling and intriguing option for companies than ever before. By allowing companies to maximize limited financial resources, the outsourcing model may be exactly what your company needs.

In Robert Ryan’s recent position paper on the topic, he repeatedly refers to a need to make companies agile, which better allows for course corrections in times of rapid change, like now. When it comes to agility, size will always be a factor, no matter if it is comparing the way a sports car whips around corners in comparison to the much larger minivan or in seeing how small companies can make changes much more simply than larger ones. In fact, the workforce itself is becoming more agile, with the average Baby Boomer expected to work for only two to three companies throughout his or her career, while members of generations X and millennium will likely average 15-18 tenures at different companies.

When capacity shrinks, a company may no longer have the size of the workforce necessary to handle all tasks and strategies. With a smaller capacity, organizations begin to struggle with completing the functions they completed prior to the downsizing, much less be able to actually keep up with technological advances and changes in the industry. Once a company reaches a point where it can no longer keep pace with its competitors, then it is no longer agile.

Also, as the number of employees of many businesses has dwindled down to a core staff as a result of the economic downswing, many people are now doing multiple jobs, and with more people changing jobs at different companies than ever before, it makes sense that workers are no longer perfectly suited and trained for every aspect of their positions. Rather than allow quality and service to deteriorate in the wake of this situation, it makes more and more sense for companies to carefully examine the capacity of their workforce in terms of not only numbers but also capabilities, which we will discuss in more depth next week.

As Ryan states, “Too expensive to hire and train, most organizations acquire expertise episodically for strategic initiatives. This includes increasing capability and capacity over a short, definable period of business or technical transition.” How have you seen capacity make a difference when a company is considering outsourcing? How do you determine which functions your team can handle in-house and which can be outsourced? How do you determine when a company should take on added capacity to achieve a goal?

Tags: Essential Healthcare Management, Schroeder, Ripullo, EHM, healthcare, medical, hospitals, ACO, Accountable Care Organizations, healthcare suppliers, HHS, Regulations on ACOs, ACO Regulations, ACOs and suppliers, HHS Regulations, gpos, outsourcing model, IDNs, integrated delivery networks

The Virtues of the Outsourcing Model

Posted by Stan Schroeder on Thu, Apr 21, 2011 @01:21 PM

With fuel costs rising almost daily, the purse strings on company travel budgets continue to be drawn tighter and tighter. In fact, some companies have eliminated travel entirely in favor of outsourcing the sales, advertising and marketing work that once required separate departments.

The outsourcing model offers a way for company’s to maximize limited resources in a time of economic constraint. As a cost-saving tool, outsourcing allows the same work to be done by a strategic partner for a fraction of the price that it would cost to be done in-house.

Robert Ryan, Co-founder and Vice President of TrustedCare, Inc. in Austin, TX, recently delved into the outsourcing model in a position paper. In it, he referred to ways to make your company more “agile” - and agility is actually what all companies should be striving for. Ryan states, “Because change is constant, the agile enterprise is able to adroitly adjust to and take advantage of rising opportunities…. It is apparent in studies that the agile organization shows significant profit growth…”

EHM has built a business based on connecting medical suppliers to the healthcare organizations with purchasing power, but the company also offers its clients much more in the form of outsourced sales, advertising and marketing support. As an EHM client, we can use our resources and connections to sell your products directly to the Integrated Delivery Networks (IDNs), Group Purchasing Organizations (GPOs) and Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) who most need access to them.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be examining some questions that will you help you determine if the outsourcing model, and a partnership with EHM, is right for you, so stay tuned to the EHM Catalyst Blog each week.

In the meantime, please tell us whether you have examined if outsourcing is right for your organization. There are pros and cons to both models, and we are interested to hear your end result.

Tags: Essential Healthcare Management, Schroeder, Ripullo, ACO, Accountable Care Organizations, healthcare suppliers, ACOs and suppliers, gpos, outsourcing model, IDNs, integrated delivery networks

ACO Regulations Defined by HHS

Posted by Stan Schroeder on Wed, Apr 13, 2011 @11:05 AM

The US Department of Health and Human Services (Washington, DC) released regulations on accountable care organizations (ACOs), providing rules to enable organizations in setting up exchanges of healthcare data to improve care and reduce costs, as mandated under the Accountable Care Act. A press release was distributed at the end of March detailing the announcement and includes links to the specific regulations.

ACOs are pivotal to the federal government's plan to reduce healthcare costs and improve quality. Some providers, such as Intermountain Health (Salt Lake City, UT), have been using an approach that's something similar to ACOs for years. Collaborations between doctors and other providers make care more uniform, based on the best outcomes. Often, this care is also the most cost-effective. Some have called ACOs the HMOs of today.

EHM has the experience and knowledge to help guide suppliers through this new market structure.  We can provide product marketing and positioning support, make appropriate introductions and get you in front of the right decision-makers to help make you more successful.

Tags: Essential Healthcare Management, Schroeder, Ripullo, EHM, healthcare, ACO, Accountable Care Organizations, healthcare suppliers, HHS, Regulations on ACOs, ACO Regulations, ACOs and suppliers, HHS Regulations

Patient Satisfaction

Posted by Stan Schroeder on Wed, Apr 06, 2011 @02:43 PM

TruthPoint Helps Hospitals Improve Patient Satisfaction Scores

EHM prides itself on connecting valuable medical industry suppliers with those who have purchasing power. Our latest client that we are positioning for success is TruthPoint, which offers an innovative method of helping hospitals dramatically improve their patient experience scores. With this technology in place, TruthPoint can greatly assist Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) with meeting their own goals when it comes to patient satisfaction.

ACOs will likely become the predominant option for integrating healthcare services for Medicare recipients beginning in January 2012, and EHM aims to ease the way for medical industry suppliers to align their missions to this new system. As the number of registered ACOs continues to skyrocket, EHM is focusing on helping its clients become as marketable as possible to these new organizations and their potential purchasing power. One of the primary ways this can be achieved is by helping clients create services that will appeal across a broad range of healthcare spectrums.

Having accurate and easy-to-procure patient experience scores can eliminate a large burden from hospitals. By relying on TruthPoint, healthcare providers will be able to spend less time obtaining their own figures and more time using the figures from TruthPoint to strategize on how best to serve their patients and strengthen their financial results. TruthPoint’s system is so easy for patients to use that hospitals can implement it at every point of care throughout their system to get a wide-ranging array of results.

For more information on TruthPoint or EHM, please contact EHM.

Tags: Essential Healthcare Management, Schroeder, Ripullo, EHM, healthcare, medical, ACO, Accountable Care Organizations, healthcare suppliers, patient satisfaction, truthpoint