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Indiana Blood Center Loses Three Hospital Systems

Three Indiana hospitals, including IU Health, switch blood suppliers from Indiana Blood Center to Red Cross.

Blood

Photo: Antonio (Flickr)

IU Health, St. Vincent and Union Hospitals drop Indiana Blood Center for less-expensive units from the Red Cross.

Three  hospital systems are dropping the Indiana Blood Center and turning to the American Red Cross for their blood supplies. The hospitals say the reason for the switch is financial.

Terre Haute-based Union Hospitals, IU Health and St Vincent Health make up more than a third of Indiana Blood Center’s revenue.  Now,  the American Red Cross will be the only supplier for those facilities, costing Indiana Blood Center over twenty million dollars.

Union Hospital spokesperson Tiffany Conover says the change from the local to national contract allows them to get lower-priced units of blood.

“A majority of our blood products that we keep in-house will be provided by the Red Cross,” Conover says. “This was the least expensive model for us.”

Vice president of blood services and chief marketing officer at the Indiana Blood Center Wendy Mehringer says this loss does not mean the center will reduce blood donations.

“As long as there’s donor support for a local,  independent blood provider, we’ll still be here,” Mehringer says. “It’s the business side that’s changing.”

Mehringer says the demand for blood has gone down in the last three years, allowing for competition to increase and driving down prices.

Casey Kuhn

Casey Kuhn is a reporter working for WFIU/WTIU news. Originally from Cincinnati, she recently graduated from Indiana University with a B.A. in journalism. Her main interests are dogs, baseball, and food. Follow her online at @CaseyAtTheDesk.

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