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Cook County Health and Hospitals will save $500,000 a year under new food contract
Consolidated Group Purchasing Organization agreement will provide for better food tracking, less deliveries, budget savings

Tuesday, March 09, 2010
Special to

CHICAGO – The Cook County Health and Hospitals System (CCHHS) has approved a new, more efficient food contract for two of the largest Chicago area public hospitals, reigning in nearly $500,000 in food costs savings.

The distribution contract with U.S. Foodservice is part of a number of cost-saving initiatives the System has been able to initiate under a newly signed Group Purchasing Organization (GPO), an agreement that combines healthcare systems across the country enabling them to buy supplies at bulk rates.

The contract means most of the food that is consumed at John H. Stroger Hospital and Oak Forest Hospital – both, prepared for patients and served to staff and the public in the cafeterias – would come from U.S. Foodservice at a reduced cost. The System’s third hospital, Provident Hospital, is currently under its own food contract.

“This is just one part of the substantial savings we will realize through the GPO,” said CCHHS CEO William Foley. “We will continue to find ways to make sure that we are wisely using taxpayer money while making sure that patient quality doesn’t suffer.”

By using the GPO to buy everything from food to bed linens, the CCHHS will be able to save about $20 million a year.

Along with the significant cost savings, the deal with U.S. Foodservice will also help the System by:

  • Reducing the number of deliveries from 34 a week to 12;
  • Cutting down on paperwork and reducing bills from 24 invoices to 5; and
  • Giving food managers at CCHHS the ability to track where food comes from in case a spoiled or substandard product is received.

Not all of the food, however, would come from the U.S. Foodservice deal. Local distributors would still be able to bid on contracts for baked goods, pre-packaged sandwiches and other items that aren’t covered by U.S. Foodservice.

CCHHS (formerly known as the Cook County Bureau of Health Services) oversees a comprehensive, integrated system of healthcare throughout Chicago and suburban Cook County through its hospitals, ambulatory and community health network clinics, public health department, correctional healthcare facility, and outpatient infectious disease center.

The CCHHS is comprised of: John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital, Provident Hospital, Oak Forest Hospital, Cook County Department of Public Health, Cermak Health Services, the Ruth Rothstein CORE Center and Ambulatory and Community Health Network (ACHN) health centers.

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