Top 25 Healthcare Supply Chains of 2013 [SLIDESHOW]

While the jury is still out on what impact the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (better known as ObamaCare) will have on patients, there is already clear evidence of its effects on the healthcare industry, as health systems, retailers, distributors, wholesalers and manufacturers are all jockeying for a better position. As a result, consolidation dominated the healthcare landscape in 2013.

Analyst firm Gartner, which famously produces an annual ranking of the Top 25 Supply Chains (here’s a slideshow of the 2013 list), also produces a similar ranking of the Top 25 Healthcare Supply Chains. As with all such lists, there are a few quirks to the rankings. For instance, the rankings themselves are largely a popularity contest, with a lot of weight given to the votes of a peer opinion panel as well as Gartner analysts (but then again, it is Gartner’s list, so you would expect to see their own spin on the rankings).

Another quirk, though, is that the retailer category includes just two companies—Walgreens and CVS Caremark—while omitting some of the biggest pharmacies, such as those run by Walmart, Target and Kroger.

One interesting aspect to the Top 25 Healthcare Supply Chain rankings, which the better-known Top 25 Supply Chain list does not have, is an attempt to rate the hospital groups within the list by quality of care as well as by bond rating. It’s not a perfect system, as little-known Memorial Hermann had fabulous scores for care and bond rating, but ended up last on the list primarily because many voters were not that familiar with the hospital group.

All in all, though, the Gartner ranking provides the best scorecard available to weigh the merits (and in some cases, the weaknesses) of many of the dominant players in healthcare. Following in reverse order are the Top 25 Healthcare Supply Chains for 2013, based on analysis and research compiled by Gartner analysts Eric O'Daffer, Todd Applebaum, Kimberly Nilles, Debra Hofman and Andrew Stevens.

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