Pilot program helps internists avoid buying in bulk

PHILADELPHIA — The American College of Physicians (ACP) is teaming up with Project N95 to supply frontline internal medicine specialists with personal protective equipment (PPE) to help them combat the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

In order to combat typical market practice, which requires healthcare organizations to purchase PPE in bulk, the ACP and Project N95 collaborated on a pilot program allowing ACP members to purchase equipment in smaller quantities — “down to a single 20-count box of N95 respirators and 15-count bag of disposable isolation gowns,” the ACP explained in a press release — at market-rate prices.

“The response to the pilot program has been immediate and at a higher volume than anticipated,” the ACP wrote. “The initial anticipated order size for the pilot program was 10,000 units of N95 respirators and 5,000 isolation gowns. Since launching the program, 2,267 orders were placed, connecting physicians with 145,400 N95 masks and 70,440 isolation gowns. That represents more than 55,800 frontline workers protected across all 50 states including Hawaii, Alaska, and Puerto Rico.”

Jacqueline W. Fincher, MD, MACP, President of the ACP, noted that it is challenging for smaller practices, including her own, to fulfill the “ongoing and vital need to secure adequate PPE during the Covid-19 pandemic.” She observed that the enthusiastic response to this pilot program “indicates the scope of need among our physician members, and we are pleased to be able to help ensure their safety and protection in providing patient care during this pandemic.”

According to Andrew Stroup, the Executive Director of Project N95, roughly 67.4% of the total orders received for N95 respirators under this pilot program have been for as few as one or two 20-count boxes.

“…our pilot program has created a way for smaller practices to purchase the exact amount of equipment needed at competitive market prices,” he explained. “By doing so, we’re promoting equitable distribution of supplies and helping these organizations support their communities — many of which consist of underserved populations.”

John McKenna, Associate Editor, BreakingMED™

Cat ID: 190

Topic ID: 79,190,791,932,730,933,190,520,926,192,927,151,589,590,928