Airline industry as model for healthcare supply chainAccording to a recent post on Healthcare Matters' website, the airline industry is proving what the phrase "last in wins" means when referring to supply chains - and this could be relevant to healthcare.

Older airlines are at an extreme disadvantage compared with newcomers because they have the added expense and responsibility of managing maintenance and repair for multiple types of models of various aircrafts they required over time.

Each aircraft model has its own replacement part program, which requires a different set of maintenance and engineering skills, which from a supply chain perspective can be a disaster to manage. The different parts requiring different sets of maintenance and engineering skills is the reason that some airlines have filed for bankruptcy multiple times in the industry. New airlines have flown into the industry with a new and improved business model that optimizes load capacity while minimizing supply chain expense.

This is similar to the situation in healthcare, the article said, because medical care providers are also looking to work with as few vendors as possible to standardize sourcing and quality of care. Furthermore, the healthcare industry may be moving toward a model in which those who are willing to pay a premium for care might in effect subsidize the care of other patients, similar to the way first-class passengers offset costs for those in coach.
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