FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

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What/who is SMI?

SMI is a not-for-profit consortium of executives representing healthcare providers; medical products, pharmaceuticals and supply chain distribution companies; and service businesses united to reengineer, shape, and advance the future of the healthcare supply chain for the purpose of improving the overall healthcare marketplace in the United States.

How is SMI governed?

SMI is governed by a Board of Directors comprised of 12 persons, equally representing Provider and Industry Partner members. Board members receive no compensation from SMI.

Who can join?

SMI membership is open to two types of organization - Providers and Industry Partners.

Provider Partners are integrated delivery networks (IDNs) and/or academic medical centers.  Member organizations must serve as a transactional trading partner whose major mission is patient care and who has direct involvement in the delivery of such care.  Each must have a corporate structure owned and controlled by a single entity with a centralized function that has the capacity to affect operational change throughout the organization.  The organization must issue purchase orders for, take title of, and pay invoices for products used in the delivery of care.  The designated member is to be the senior executive responsible for the supply chain of the provider organization.

Industry Partners are manufacturers of medical surgical, diagnostic and pharmaceutical supplies; capital equipment and medical device companies; distributors; service providers; IT companies; and other key suppliers of goods and/or services.  Member organizations must serve as a transactional trading partner with providers of patient care.  The designated member is to be a senior executve with the capacity to affect operational change throughout the organization. 

SMI may, as appropriate, involve others with a particular expertise who can directly contribute to a specific initiative for the term of a given project.

Who cannot join?

SMI membership is open to Provider and healthcare Industry Partners as described above. Organizations without the capacity to directly affect operational change, who do not ultimately impact patient care delivery, or are not transactional trading partners are not eligible; though as stated above, may potentially be drawn in on a temporary basis relative to a specific project.

Why was SMI formed?

SMI was formed to provide a venue where collaborative teams can carry out real work, together, to address industry issues and implement best practices thereby shaping the future of the healthcare supply chain value stream through improved operational efficiencies. Additionally, SMI was formed to act as a change agent for healthcare and to introduce non-healthcare related best practices and technologies to the healthcare supply chain.

How long has SMI been in existence?

SMI was incorporated on January 4 of 2005.

Does SMI operate for a profit?

No, SMI is a not-for-profit, non-stock 501(c)(6) corporation.

Do members pay fees?

All members pay an annual membership fee. Industry Partner membership is tiered such that those with national healthcare sales of $500 million and above pay $25,000 annually; those with sales less than $500 million but greater than $200 million pay $15,000; and those with sales of $200 million and below pay $12,500. Provider Partners pay $2000 annually. Member fees are the only source of revenue for SMI.

What is an SMI Forum? What goes on there?

Two Forums are held annually. SMI Forums utilize an interactive meeting process offering a balanced blend of large general sessions, roundtable discussions, and small group work teams designed to educate participants and promote development of meaningful solutions, tools and techniques to enable adoptable improvements for the most important issues facing the healthcare supply chain. No extracurricular entertainment such as golf or spa service is offered. Spouse attendance is not encouraged.

How is SMI staffed?

SMI is staffed by the Executive Director, Tom Hughes who reports to the Board of Directors; and the Senior Director, Dennis Orthman and the Administrative Director, Teri Gallagher who report to the Executive Director; as well as the Christine Dean, Communications Coordinator, who reports to the Senior Director.

Do Provider members get paid for attending SMI forums?

No, members are not paid to attend SMI Forums. No monies by way of consulting fees, honorariums or surplus allocation are provided to the Board of Directors or any member. In the unlikely event that SMI should be dissolved, all remaining funds are to go to charity.

Does SMI limit the number of members?

All members must meet the membership criteria as previously stated.  To be as effective as possible, SMI’s membership policies are designed to maintain a healthy balance among different segments of the healthcare industry and to avoid becoming too large for meaningful dialogue at our Forums. At this time we are not accepting new industry members. 

Does SMI have a web site?

Do the manufacturers get special consideration by the Providers because they are members of SMI?

No.

What about preferred appointments?

No.

Does SMI have other supply chain focused organizations as members?

Yes, SMI membership is open to those who meet the membership criteria and as such other transactional trading partner organizations that work collaboratively addressing supply chain issues with the goal of implementing best practices aimed at improving operational efficiencies for all can be considered.

Is there any discussion around pricing, terms, conditions or rebates and discounts?

Absolutely not, SMI initiatives focus on operational issues and processes. Antitrust counsel has been retained to ensure that all discussions and initiatives comply with the law; as well as professional counsel to address other business issues. We make certain that there are no discussions that could affect the competitive process.

Are there any discussions around product benefits and features?

No. SMI discussions are in no way product or brand specific, again the focus is on operational issues and processes.

Many large companies are SMI members. Can small companies join?

Organizations of any size fitting the SMI membership criteria will be considered. In fact, the tiered membership structure was designed specifically to allow smaller companies the opportunity to be part of the SMI collaborative process and environment.

What initiatives are being worked on at SMI?

  • Supply Chain Optimization
  • Best Practices in Value Analysis
  • Low Cost Trading Partners
  • Best Practices in Supplier-Provider Collaboration

Who decides the SMI initiatives and what will be worked on?

SMI is a member focused and member driven consortium. As such, members are regularly polled for their ideas and suggestions for initiatives as well as other SMI activities. The suggested list of initiatives is periodically discussed (this is a key Forum activity) and the initiatives that produce the greatest interest and support are set up for work group development. Members self select which initiatives they work on.

What does SMI do with the output (work product) from the initiatives?

SMI is dedicated to improving the healthcare supply chain and to that end all findings / improvements / processes / established best practices are shared with the marketplace. SMI does this through white papers, industry meeting presentations (such as AHRMM), articles in national publications, invitations to the press to attend Forums, and free access to final work products. All finalized Tools are posted to the SMI website for free download to any and all in the industry. Outcomes produced or published by SMI may be used as is or tailored to meet the unique needs of an individual organization – in any case, specific acknowledgement must be made of SMI as the original author/developer.