Identifying Price Gouging & Finding COVID-19 Alternatives for Products

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to cause significant challenges for healthcare providers and their supply chain teams. Whether your hospital is facing a critical rush of COVID-19 patients, or you’ve been able to manage the demand well thus far, we understand the numerous logistical difficulties you’re likely facing each and every day.

The team at Curvo Labs is dedicated to helping healthcare personnel in any way that we can. We may not be physically there with you on the front lines, but we’re assessing every possible avenue where our solution can be of service.

Based on many conversations we’ve had with our provider clients, we’ve identified a critical problem that healthcare providers and supply chain teams are facing: product shortages and price-gouging.

In this article, we’ll outline exactly how Curvo’s solution can help supply chain teams find solutions to these seemingly insurmountable obstacles. But first, let’s take a look at the challenge.

The Challenge: Product Shortages and Price-Gouging

Healthcare supply chain professionals understand the unvarnished truth during the current COVID-19 pandemic: select medical products are difficult to source during this crisis, and price-gouging is a real threat to continuing operations unhindered.

We’d love to live in a world free of these constraints, but unfortunately, shortages and price-gouging are both all-too-common. According to DWT Advisories, the Department of Health and Human Services issued its first notice of designation of scarce materials on March 25, 2020, which included the following:

  • N-95 masks and other personal protective equipment (surgical masks, face shields, medical gowns, coveralls, Tyvek suits, surgical gloves, et al.)
  • Respirators, including their replacement parts (e.g., filters/cartridges)
  • Ventilators, anesthesia machines, and the equivalents (and replacement parts)
  • Sterilization services for devices
  • Disinfectants and sanitizers

Supply chain leaders must overcome these – amidst other challenges they are facing – on a daily basis.

The Solution: Lookup by Curvo

On April 7, Curvo announced the launch acceleration of Lookup, an unbiased clinical product research and market pricing solution. We developed this solution and started a limited-release beta before the COVID-19 pandemic was even on the horizon.

We were already excited about how Lookup was helping our customers with medical device research (including safety, pricing, and classification information needed for cost savings initiatives). Now, however, we have seen tremendous new use cases as a number of our customers shared with us how Lookup is helping them guard against price gouging and find alternative products in the midst of COVID-19 shortages. These Lookup users have gained powerful insights into pricing and comparing products that they could not have gained otherwise.

Overview of Lookup

Lookup by Curvo is an unbiased clinical product research and market pricing solution. It provides insight into unbiased price performance information across over $22 billion in trailing twelve months clinical supply purchase data and gives hospital teams the information they need to engage in data-driven decisions with clinicians and suppliers. Curvo equips supply chain, value analysis, materials management, and procurement teams with specific pricing information and other data points so they can be empowered to effectively negotiate with vendors.

Combining AI-powered scalability with human oversight, Lookup gives access to quality data you can actually use. And it does this with zero IT impact, as adopting the solution doesn’t require any complicated integrations.

Lookup is a powerful solution that boosts the ability to negotiate prices and find suitable substitute products. These results are beneficial at any time – not just during a pandemic.

Lookup In Action: Find Alternative Products and Avoid Price Gouging

Let’s take a look at two examples of how providers have solved sourcing and price-gouging challenges in the midst of COVID-19 using Lookup by Curvo:

Example #1: Search for N95 Respirators

The Lookup interface allows users to search in a number of ways. For simple searches, search by part number or by keyword. A part number search of “1860” returns 3M’s N95 respirator results. For a more general look across N95 masks, you can use the keyword search. A search for “N95” returns 26 potential suppliers and 138 part numbers that you can investigate.

Lookup also provides a greater level of detail in its search results, with unbiased pricing information across several percentile bands. Now, you have the data you need to know if you’re getting price-gouged.

Example #2: Use Advanced Search to Find Suitable Alternative Products

Lookup’s advanced search solution is a powerful way to find alternative products to those that are in short supply. For example, let’s say you’re having trouble sourcing your preferred surgical mask. You can use Lookup’s part number search feature to find “1818”, your preferred 3M tie-on surgical mask.

The pricing information is not of much use since you’re not currently able to source the item. Click on the expanded information anyway. Notice the GMDN category listed: “SURGICAL FACE MASK, SINGLE-USE”.

To find suitable alternative items, open a new tab and begin an advanced search. In the GMDN field, begin typing the category above. The field will auto-populate, and you can find every entry in a given category. Many of which, in this case, may be suitable alternatives.

Complimentary Access to Lookup Through 7/31

We’re thrilled that our new solution is solving supply chain challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and we want to help as many providers as possible. That’s why we’re giving complimentary access to Lookup by Curvo through July 31, 2020. If Lookup can help you navigate this unprecedented time in healthcare, we want to give you the opportunity to begin using the solution immediately.

Sign up for complimentary access to Lookup by Curvo through July 31st:

Be Confident You’re Getting The Best Product at the Best Price

Using methods like these, users are finding powerful ways to overcome price gouging and supply shortages in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. If you want to leverage this solution for your organization, sign up for free access today.