Maury Regional Health in Tennessee has named Doreen Foster, Sentry’s Regional VP of Sales, as Maury’s Business Partner of the Year for 2018.
Maury is Tennessee’s largest medical center between Nashville and Huntsville. It consists of three hospitals, multiple ambulatory care clinics, and a surgery center, and is the only system in Tennessee to have been named one of the nation’s top 15 US health systems by IBM Watson Health. Maury has been a Sentry customer since 2009, using Sentry’s Sentinel solution for hospital procurement and 340B program compliance, and Sentrex for 340B contract pharmacy management. Most recently, Maury has signed on to use DataNext, Sentry’s pharmacy and supply chain analytics solution as well.
To celebrate this recognition, Sentry spoke with Jeff Binkley, PharmD, BCNSP, FASHP, Maury’s Director of Pharmacy. Here’s what he had to say.
Sentry: Tell us about your Business Partner of the Year program.
Jeff: Maury’s Business Partner of the Year recognition is an honor given to one company or individual each year who assists us in furthering our:
- Mission: To serve our region with clinical excellence and compassionate care
- Vision: To become southern middle Tennessee’s essential, independent health care leader among patients and insurers by 2030
- Values: We are patient-centered, and serve our community with respect, integrity, dedication, and enthusiasm
Hospital staff submit entries on companies’ behalf based on these criteria, and submissions are judged by an executive leadership panel. The questions they ask on the submission form, which immediately made me think of Doreen and led me to submit her name, are:
- Why does this company and/or representative deserve to be Maury Regional’s Business Partner of the Year? Describe specific behaviors that support the mission, vision, and values, and critical success factors of Maury Regional Health.
- Describe how the company and/or representative performs their job in an exemplary manner.
- How does the company and/or representative demonstrate excellent customer service and teamwork?
- What type of involvement does the company and/or representative have in assisting Maury Regional Health with meeting special needs within our community?
Sentry: What was it that made you think of Doreen for this award?
Jeff: One of the very first recollections I have of engaging with Sentry back in 2009 was what a great job Doreen did describing the program and the importance of compliance. And, we have continued to build on that foundation together. At the time, she blew the competitors out of the water in terms of verbalizing her understanding of the program, its intent, the importance of compliance, and then finally conveying how Sentry was not only an expert in the compliance area but also could help us to maximize savings. Her presentation was educational, informative, and was delivered in such a way that we knew that it was more than a sales pitch—that Sentry was a partner who was here to help us.
Sentry: How has working with Sentry helped your organization as your goals and needs have evolved and as challenges have arisen?
Jeff: Like any health system, we have hit some challenges with the 340B program over the years. One of the hospitals in our system is a Sole Community Hospital (SCH), a designation established by Congress in 1983 that applies to small rural hospitals for which, “by reason of factors such as isolated location, weather conditions, travel conditions, or absence of other hospitals, is the sole source of inpatient hospital services reasonably available in a geographic area to Medicare beneficiaries.” At one point, our SCH fell below its disproportionate share threshold, and so was no longer eligible for the 340B program. At another point, we had to change the 340B designation for our flagship hospital, and as a result, fewer transactions would be eligible for 340B savings. No matter what challenges we have faced, Doreen has always gone to bat for us, helping us to get problems resolved, understand our compliance options, maximize our eligibility, and so on.
Sentry: What is the value and the impact of the 340B program on your health system?
Jeff: When you look at ongoing projects at our hospital, it’s clear that our participation in 340B has helped our organization to stay independent. And it really has helped us to, therefore, meet our mission, vision and values.
We’ve saved more than $27 million over the past nine years through the 340B program. I don’t think there are many other initiatives that have such a great benefit for rural and safety-net hospitals. At Maury, we pride ourselves on following and honoring the intent of the 340B program. Because of the savings, which Sentry and Doreen have helped us to achieve, we’ve been able to enhance several of our pharmacy services. The resulting cost savings for our cancer center alone have been $14 million, which has allowed patients in our area to come to Maury for treatment rather than having to travel to Nashville to receive their treatment. I don’t believe we could continue to serve that patient population in particular without the savings we’ve gotten from the 340B program—it has helped our cancer program to stay afloat.
I’m glad our Business Partner of the Year award gave us the opportunity to recognize Doreen and the knowledge and expertise that she and Sentry have brought to the table to help our organization. I submitted her name for the honor and was so excited when our leadership notified me that she had been selected.