GHX-Lumere pairing designed to solidify, fortify clinical integration

Jan. 16, 2020

Global Healthcare Exchange's announcement of its acquisition of Lumere this past Monday prompted Healthcare Purchasing News (HPN)  to probe a little deeper into the significance of this deal that could shape up to be a noteworthy and useful content and intelligence injection into clinical integration efforts among providers.

It's no secret that healthcare organizations, by and large, have struggled to unite consistently, routinely and universally the aims, goals and interests of physicians, surgeons and nurses with those of supply chain executives and professionals. Their mutual expected outcome of this collaboration means keeping patients and the facilities in which they are treated healthy – not one at the expense of the other or the advantage tilted in such a way that negatively impacts both or either. But the GHX-Lumere deal strives to be a shot in the right direction, providing progressive momentum that reinforces the desire and need for clinical-supply chain integration, driven by data- and information-fueled voluntary partnerships.

HPN Senior Editor Rick Dana Barlow posed a series of questions to two executives from GHX and Lumere: Chris Luoma, GHX’s Senior Vice President, Global Product Management and Eric Meizlish, Lumere’s Vice President, Strategy. Both Luoma and Meizlish shared their views on what this corporate marriage means for the industry, for the patient and for each enterprise.

HPN: With the acquisition of Lumere, what will GHX be able to extend to its customer base in the future that they weren’t able to provide in the past?

Luoma : GHX has relationships with hospitals representing more than 80% of licensed beds in the US. No other company has a greater volume of transactional data on its platform. Lumere provides the industry’s leading evidence-based data and analytics platform for reducing unwanted clinical variation and unlocking powerful data insights. Together, our two companies create the industry’s most powerful solution to support the clinically-integrated supply chain by helping healthcare systems understand which products work for the right patients at the right cost – enabling these organizations to achieve the savings and patient outcomes they are targeting. The Lumere acquisition also significantly extends GHX’s footprint in the pharmaceutical market, helping health systems more strategically manage the increasingly complex area of pharmacy cost and quality.

How will the addition of Lumere’s data, research and survey capabilities, in concert with GHX’s extensive customer base fuel more in-depth and meaningful provider and supplier studies in the areas of medical device and pharmaceutical analysis, evaluation, selection, use and disposal?

Luoma : To clarify, it’s inaccurate to say the combination of GHX and Lumere will fuel more in-depth studies – our two companies are not powering the studies themselves.

Rather, this acquisition is about creating visibility into the clinical evidence that exists and has been generated by providers, suppliers and the medical community at large, and allowing providers to localize this data for their own needs and what’s relevant to them in their specific environment. Together, GHX and Lumere will help providers select the highest value product for their patients. The unmatched breadth of the GHX network will also allow the consumption and utilization of the Lumere platform at significant scale.

How will Lumere’s clinical and data capital, fused with GHX’s supply chain data and transactional content help promote data standards adoption and implementation?

Luoma : Both GHX and Lumere are focused on marrying clinical and supply chain data to give providers insights into which products work for the right patients at the right cost. GHX and Lumere are doing the “heavy lifting” to create those clinical and supply chain linkages and provide the industry with the “so what” data that will help further promote the adoption and implementation of data standards like UDI and GS1.

How will GHX and Lumere drive data and functional linkages between the clinical, lab, imaging and supply chain areas?

Luoma : To clarify, the GHX and Lumere combination will affect clinical and supply chain areas. Neither is touching lab or imaging at this time. The combination of GHX and Lumere and our respective solutions are driving the shift towards the clinically integrated supply chain, where the combination of purchase/supply chain data is directly influencing the analysis of clinical treatments and outcomes.

Based on content alone, what made Lumere more attractive to GHX as an acquisition target than any of its direct and indirect competitors?

Luoma : There are many reasons Lumere was an attractive acquisition target for GHX. Three primary reasons include:

  • Lumere’s breadth and rigor of research evidence – Lumere’s research and evidence asset is the broadest and most rigorous in the industry. Lumere’s approach is rooted in a comprehensive and rigorous synthesis of evidence and clinical data. In total, the company's team of Ph.D.s, physicians, pharmacists and biomedical engineers has reviewed more than 130,000 research studies to produce a proprietary evidence library covering more than 33,000 products across more than 2,300 categories. This helps ensure expenditures are supported by clinical outcomes and that patient care remains central. GHX and Lumere are also both vendor-neutral platforms, dedicated to protecting the unbiased nature of our advice, insights and analytics. We take this independence seriously as the quality of our evidence review is foundational to the value the company delivers.
  • Lumere’s integrated capabilities – The capabilities of the integrated Lumere solution (meaning it takes in both supply chain and clinical data that’s local, clinical, purchase-oriented economics and evidence-based) provides the industry with confidence GHX data can easily flow in and gives the combined company a competitive advantage in becoming a potent, integrated platform to support the clinically integrated supply chain.
  • Lumere brings insights to action – Its analytics codifies evidence to catalyze savings opportunities, and its feature-rich value analysis project management application ensures stakeholder engagement so that initiatives directly impact the bottom line.

For Lumere, what made GHX a more formidable suitor than any of the leading GPOs (if any were interested)? Less overlap or redundant service offerings? Broader customer appeal and exposure? Both? Something else? Why?

Meizlish: GHX works with hospitals representing more than 80 percent of licensed beds in the U.S., has a robust international footprint and maintains a reputation as vendor-neutral service provider that does not generate revenue based on the selection of medical products.

The acquisition significantly accelerates Lumere’s ability to increase its impact and realize its vision of becoming the definitive source of device and drug intelligence to decision makers who are focused on optimizing patient value. GHX provides Lumere access to nearly every health system and major supplier in U.S. as well as international markets, which allows Lumere to develop the richest data asset in this space. Finally, GHX’s position as an unbiased source of information aligns well with Lumere’s dedication to maintaining impartiality. This acquisition also provides Lumere with expanded opportunities in the global market. 

GHX and Lumere also had aligned cultures and a mandate to push innovation forward. We believe we have a unique opportunity to change the healthcare industry for the better as a component of the overall GHX solution.

What does the GHX-Lumere marriage indicate and predict about the intersection of clinical, data and supply chain interests?

Luoma : The Lumere acquisition expands GHX’s growing portfolio of solutions that help healthcare organizations run the new business of healthcare – one where payments for care delivery are increasingly tied to quality of care and efficiency. This shift to value-based care necessitates a clinically integrated supply chain where clinical, data and supply chain interests are fully aligned.

The combination of GHX and Lumere creates the industry’s only environment where this integration can come together and offers fertile ground for our combined company to lead the evolution to value based care.

On the surface, GHX, by and large, is a quantitative company, concentrating on transactional data, including spending, purchasing patterns and volume, pricing and costing. Lumere, by and large, is a qualitative company, focusing on behavioral analysis, clinical trending and market oversight. From clinical integration and value analysis perspectives, how do the two companies together approach and appeal to physician preference and clinical collaboration for a healthcare organization’s survival and success?

Luoma : A crucial attribute of the clinically integrated supply chain is physician engagement.

Our combined company allows the supply chain to engage physicians in ways it hasn’t ever before been able to, helping them deliver care that’s backed by data and guided by evidence so they can make the best decisions for every patient.