NY hospitals now have large stockpiles of PPE

Hospitals across New York now have large stockpiles of personal protective equipment, thanks to a combination of state policy, market forces and timing, The Wall Street Journal reported July 1. 

Hospital executives told the Journal that the pandemic has permanently shifted the way hospitals purchase supplies, requiring procurement departments to diversify their suppliers and become experts at understanding where raw materials are sourced. 

New York state has been requiring all hospitals to maintain a 90-day supply of PPE since May 2020. But many hospitals now have even more than that, partly due to contracts they signed during the height of the pandemic, hospital procurement specialists told the Journal

PPE manufacturers had to significantly increase production of certain supplies, and to do so, health systems had to sign large, multiyear contracts for the supplies. 

"There are some items that are going to take us six to nine months to kind of wean down because we bought so much of it. And then, there's items we might have for years. It will last us forever the amount of masks that we have," Carlos Maceda, vice president and chief supply chain officer at Mount Sinai Health System in New York City, told the Journal

Some New York City hospitals have their own central warehouses for supplies, while others hold their supplies with a distributor. Mount Sinai told the Journal it is looking for 100,000 square feet of warehouse space so it can have tighter control over its supplies. 

Northwell Health pays about $4 million per year to warehouse its supplies, Donna Drummond, senior vice president and chief expense officer of the New Hyde Park, N.Y.-based health system told the Journal. She said stockpiling 90 days of peak-pandemic medical supplies is excessive. 

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