Independent Healthcare Systems Working Together 

A Case Study in Clinical Reference Lab

Reducing Length of Stay (LOS) continues to be a priority for hospitals. As a result, clinical labs are under pressure to improve testing turnaround times to better assist doctors in providing quality care. Additionally, a global research firm recently reported that the clinical lab services market in the U.S. is growing at an annual rate of 4.1%. Recognizing these increasing demands in both speed and volume, it was time for us to explore how a proactive, organized collaboration could benefit all of our member organizations in both price and best practices.

The TPC management team went to work first to facilitate an RFP process designed to aggregate contract pricing and services leveraging the economies of scale from 11 member healthcare systems working together. Yes we were each leveraging GPO contracts, but we believed there was another level to be achieved. See the RESULTS AT A GLANCE section.

Another critical outcome of our work together was the creation of our lab leadership group. It continues to serve as a structured, open, peer-to-peer environment for sharing operational best practices in lab services focused on meeting increased demands in turn times and volume. As a group, the team reconnects quarterly to collaborate. As is common in TPC, new relationships developed around sharing common ground and many of us connect regularly outside the quarterly model. From this group came a key attribute of the RFP work. The only way to ensure quality standards for the new primary partner was for these member stakeholders to rigorously evaluate and agree on the services and commitment to best practices from the right partner.

Since the beginning of our collaboration, new stories occur regularly confirming one of the outcomes: choosing the right partner. One of our Members invested the time to write an email sharing her experience and perspective about our partner. An excerpt from that email is below...

I am so impressed and grateful for the exceptional customer service consistently provided by ARUP.

By reaching beyond already-strong GPO contracting, TPC membership enabled a framework for working together in fostering yet another community of excellence across multiple independent healthcare systems, achieving new value, and ensuring a long term model for operational best practices. 



  • $1.2 million savings, 18% of spend
  • 1.54x savings advantage beyond GPO 
  • Displaced a market leading, and member competitor, lab company creating broader pricing competition in the region