Firm News & Announcements

Healthcare Group Purchasing Industry Initiative Retains Leading Business Ethics And Compliance Attorney Richard Bednar As Coordinator

Washington, D.C. – December 15, 2005: The Healthcare Group Purchasing Industry Initiative (the Initiative) today announced that it has retained long-time Washington ethics and compliance expert Richard (“Dick”) J. Bednar as its Coordinator. Bednar will serve as the professional staff, in effect the executive director, of the Initiative. The purpose of the Initiative is to promote ethical business practices in the healthcare group purchasing industry.

Group purchasing organizations (GPOs) pool the purchasing needs of hospitals, health systems and other providers to lower the cost of buying drugs, supplies and medical devices, helping hospitals provide quality patient care while controlling costs. The Initiative has established six core principles of ethics and business conduct which signatories to the Initiative are expected to follow. Bednar takes over from Kirk O. Hanson, a well-known professor of business ethics, who served as Interim Coordinator. Professor Hanson currently is Director the Markula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University .

“Dick Bednar provides the Healthcare Group Purchasing Industry Initiative with just the insight and direction we need as we begin to implement this vigorous and comprehensive best practices program,” said Premier CEO Richard A. Norling, chairman of the Initiative's CEO Steering Committee. “GPOs have a single mission to help hospitals and their patients. We are confident that Dick will help us continue this mission in an environment of best practices and transparency.”

The Initiative is the result of several years of industry review and is strongly supported by the nation's major hospital and health care associations whose members benefit from working with GPOs. In addition to the accountability questionnaire, participants will take part in an annual Best Practices forum to review ethical and business conduct practices.

Bednar is Senior Counsel to the Washington , D.C. law firm office of Crowell & Moring LLP. In addition to the GPO Initiative, Bednar serves as the Coordinator of the Defense Industry Initiative on Business Ethics and Conduct (“DII”), a consortium of more than 65 defense industry companies. His other health care experience includes conducting compliance reviews for fiscal intermediaries and ethics and compliance training for major pharmaceutical, insurance and medical equipment companies . Earlier in his career, Bednar served as a member of the Army JAG Corps, rising to the level of Brigadier General and holding the position of Assistant Judge Advocate General for Civil Law and Army Debarment Official.

“The Healthcare Group Purchasing Industry Initiative is a strong, self-regulatory program requiring participants to operate in a transparent and ethical manner,” Bednar said.

 The initial participants in the Initiative include Amerinet, Broadlane, Child Health Corporation of America, Consorta, GNYHA Ventures, Healthtrust Purchasing Group, MedAssets, Novation and Premier. Involvement is at the CEO level and all GPOs are encouraged to join.

About the Healthcare Group Purchasing Industry Initiative

Health care group purchasing organizations help health care providers meet one of their greatest challenges – controlling costs while advancing quality patient care. The Initiative is a voluntary association of healthcare GPOs created in 2005 to encourage and sustain best ethical and business conduct practices in the GPO industry. The Initiative's founding members are Amerinet, Broadlane, Child Health Corporation of America, Consorta, GNYHA Ventures, Inc., Healthtrust Purchasing Group, MedAssets, Novation and Premier, Inc. These companies include the largest group purchasing organizations in the United States , estimated to represent more than 80 percent of the volume purchased through GPOs. For additional information, please visit www.healthcaregpoii.com.

Contact(s):

Phill McGowan
Director of PR, Media and Communication
+1 202.508.8835
Email: pmcgowan@crowell.com


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