Case Study

Infusion Solutions' Rapid Growth Requires a Supply Chain Partner That Can Keep Up

May 30, 2018
woman getting infusion
An alliance of local hospitals created Infusions Solutions to solve problems of patients not having access to fast, individualized care and to deliver high-quality healthcare services such as home infusion and IV therapy. 

The supply chain is vital to the business–if drugs don’t show up, it disrupts care, damages the brand, and impacts the bottom line through lost customers. When the business began rapidly growing—its patient base and revenue increasing year over year—the company discovered its group purchasing organization (GPO) relationship at the time wasn’t getting the job done.

As a result, Infusion Solutions faced several challenges, including: 

  • Its GPO was acute care focused, offering good deals on hospital items, but not on home infusion drugs. 
  • Supply tracking and invoicing was done on paper instead of electronically.   
  • The GPO’s private label drugs were often unavailable, causing Infusion Solutions to pay a premium for the branded version. 

When Blake Gillum came on-board in 2013 as director of pharmacy and operations manager at Infusion Solutions, he wasn’t impressed with what he saw. “With our former GPO, I didn’t even know who my rep was. They never visited,” Gillum says. “Most people had been here a long time. They didn’t notice how bad the GPO service had gotten. I had to ask, ‘Is this what we’re going to live with?’”


One of Gillum’s first orders of business was to seek potential savings. He reached out to five GPOs, asking for a cost analysis on contracts. At the end of a lengthy process, a clear winner emerged. 

“Provista made the best impression and had the best price,” says Gillum, who became executive director in March 2017 of Infusion Solutions, which serves Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia. “The private label Novaplus® was a key point for us. Provista had the best promise of value, and in practice, it worked out. Our supply chain issues decreased, and so did our worries.” 

Most of the company’s business focuses on about 20 drugs. Having the Novaplus version of branded drugs directly improves profitability. For example, the branded version of Daptomycin, an injectable antibiotic that fights bacteria in the body, is very expensive. Gillum noted that it was his biggest expense, even more than payroll. When the Novaplus version became available, it delivered immediate and dramatic savings. 


Customer service is a differentiator for Infusion Solutions. Unlike its competitors, it does not use couriers to deliver home infusion supplies to customers. “Our personal service makes us unique,” Gillum points out. “Other companies can compete with us on price, but they can’t compete with us on customer service. We are the service leader in every market that we operate in.”

As a service leader, Infusion Solutions requires a supply chain partner that also values exceptional service. That’s why it’s working with Provista on its new offering—enteral feedings. Provista helped select the best contracts and products for the liquid food mixture.

“We’ve been asked many times about offering enteral feedings, and we’re seeing a demand for it. We were losing referrals by not offering it,” Gillum says. “We anticipate very quickly gaining 100 new patients, which is about a 10% to 15% growth overnight, by offering this service. Kirstin Watts, our Provista rep, made the process of entering this market easier by providing clinical and expert advice. I view Kirstin as a member of our staff.”

“We’ve had record-breaking years, and 2018 will break all of our records, financially and profitability, so it cannot be overstated how beneficial Provista has been for us.”


Open communications with Provista ensures that Infusion Solutions is aware of any potential supply issues. “I know Kirstin’s cellphone number. I have her email. She responds immediately to anything we need,” Gillum notes. “It’s very nice to have that relationship. It makes my job a whole lot easier.” 

Infusion Solutions relies on its GPO to consistently supply its customers with the drugs and other supplies they need. Quite simply, if drugs don’t show up, the business can’t operate. 

“If I tell someone I can’t get a drug, it damages our business. If we know a shortage is coming on the front end, we can find an alternative,” Gillum explains. “Before, we were reactive. We would get smacked in the face when we couldn’t get one of our popular drugs. Now, Provista lets us know what’s going on ahead of time, if there are national shortages, and we can be proactive.”


Working with Provista led to streamlining suppliers. Infusion Solutions had been working with about a dozen companies. Now, it works with Provista distribution partner McKesson. 

“We offered to bring everything to McKesson for aggressive cost savings with the contracts we have with Provista,” Gillum explains. “Previously, if I was having a supply issue, I had to call 10 different places to get it resolved. With McKesson, I just call one person. That makes everyone’s life easier, not just mine.” 

Provista delivered solutions that solved Infusion Solutions’ pain points, including:

  • Understanding and meeting the unique needs of the home infusion market. 
  • Modernizing procurement processes and providing a self-service website that shows orders, histories, price comparisons and other key information.
  • Delivering a competitively priced drug portfolio with a “failure to supply” clause that ensures the customer never pays more than the contracted price, even if the generic is unavailable and a brand drug is used.
Provista also helped Infusion Solutions move locations in Ashland, Kentucky, and Charleston, West Virginia. The company used Provista Capital Equipment and Construction Advisory Services to help with office renovations, including drywall and paint contracts, and a new copy machine purchase. 

Gillum credits Provista with much of his company’s success. “The Provista contracts are our bottom line. Over the last five years, we’ve doubled in revenue and doubled the number of patients we treat,” he says. “We’ve had record-breaking years, and 2018 will break all of our records, financially and profitability, so it cannot be overstated how beneficial Provista has been for us.”

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