What is a GPO (Group Purchasing Organization)? with Dr. Mark Walsh

In this episode, we have guest Dr. Mark Walsh, who is currently the Corp Head of Pharmacy Sourcing for HealthTrust where he is involved with the development and execution of clinical contracting strategies for more than 1,700 hospitals and roughly 35,000 outpatient service centers. Mark leads HealthTrust’s Drug Shortage Taskforce, provides clinical oversight and site assessments for the 503B Outsourcing Facility Program, serves as project lead for the Supply Interruption Mitigation Strategy initiative, leads the HealthTrust Pharmacy Operations Advisory Board, and negotiates contracts for pharmacy operations related services and equipment. Mark has served in a few different capacities prior to his role at HealthTrust which include Director of Pharmacy, Interim Chief Operating Officer, and Clinical Coordinator at a multi-campus facility. He is also a residency preceptor for the PGY-2 Corporate Pharmacy Leadership Residency at HealthTrust.
Topics discussed include:
Group Purchasing Organization, what exactly does a pharmacist do there?
o GPOs aren’t commonly discussed as career paths for pharmacists and many aren’t familiar with what they actually do.
The aggregation of healthcare and the role that pharmacist can play in it
o IDNs are expanding rapidly and with those expansions (both from an acute care and outpatient perspective) there are tremendous opportunities for pharmacist to play a role. Efficiencies of scale are being taken for granted in current reimbursement models so there are constant pressures to innovate and streamline processes which are skills that are inherent to pharmacy.
· Other roles within a health system besides a Director of Pharmacy in the Hospital
o There is a growing trend of hospital systems identifying pharmacy as a leadership pool to draw on outside of just pharmacy. Pharmacists are being promoted to VP of Operations or COO roles due to the convergence of clinical insight (including working with the doctors) and operational performance.

Guest – Mark Walsh PharmD, BCPS

Host – Hillary Blackburn, PharmD
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