Transparent pricing - Commonwealth at 70
Published: Fri, 21 Jun, 2019
Hospitals paying different prices for the same products inspired the development of the online Price-Benchmarking tool AdviseInc.
Launched in 2014, AdviseInc is the first company in the world to provide product price benchmarking across the whole of a health economy. “We set up AdviseInc to see how we could enable the healthcare spend to stretch further,” says CEO Mat Oram.
The health-tech company now works with more than 230 NHS trusts across Britain, helping them save money by making data and analytics central to their decision-making.
Before setting up AdviseInc, Oram and his two co-founders, Philip Stoyle and Ben Morgan-Grey, had spent decades working in and around the NHS and healthcare, particularly in procurement. They were also experts in the field of data and analytics. Within the NHS they witnessed a situation where money was being wasted because of a lack of transparency and clarity around costs and suppliers. For example, one hospital paid £200 and another paid £600 for the same screw. Build these components into systems and some procedures can vary in cost by thousands of pounds. Multiply that across the number of procedures and hospitals and the system can save over £100 million.
Oram says the visibility of price was “non-existent or wildly inaccurate”. “The NHS had no way of comparing apples with apples,” he says. The financial pressures on the NHS are well documented, and the founders of AdviseInc saw an opportunity to help. They realised they could use data and analytics to make procurement more effective and efficient, giving hospitals and trusts the information they needed to spend their budgets effectively. Oram spent his evenings and weekends developing a Price Benchmarking (PB) tool, known in England as PPIB. This tool takes data from all NHS trusts and hospitals to provide product price benchmarks, helping healthcare professionals make sense of what they are spending on clinical supplies. “It works like a price comparison website,” explains Oram. When AdviseInc presented PB to the then Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, he immediately requested that it be rolled out across Britain.
AdviseInc’s customers now include 90 per cent of NHS trusts in England, all of Wales and Northern Ireland and a growing number in Scotland. Many organisations see returns on investment of more than 100:1, with AdviseInc’s tool saving NHS Wales more than £1 million in a year, and Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust over £400,000.
“That’s £400,000 worth of opportunities, investment and support for other pressures,” says Simon Walsh, Group Procurement Director for the Manchester trust. “Every penny of the money saved is ploughed back into the organisation.”
AdviseInc also works with finance directors, heads of procurement, general managers and clinicians to identify further opportunities for savings. AdviseInc is independent of both buyer and supplier and founded on a desire to help the NHS get better value for money. “We want to give something back to the NHS,” says Oram. “It’s about solving the problem and enabling healthcare spend to go further.”
Having achieved tangible success in helping NHS trusts make sense of their spend data, AdviseInc is now focusing on international expansion. It is currently piloting its price benchmarking system with healthcare organisations around the world, including Australia, the USA and Europe. Bringing its expertise in data and technology together with years of experience of working within healthcare, AdviseInc is on a mission to make healthcare budgets stretch further worldwide.