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Minority Contracting Comes to Medicine


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Free Bacon

Hospitals are giving minority contractors a big leg up on everything from medical equipment to cancer screening

When public hospitals purchase medical equipment or rely on outside doctors, they typically consider the price and quality of each vendor.


In Tarrant County, Texas, they consider something else, too: the race and gender of the vendor's owners.

Tarrant County's public hospital system, JPS Health, evaluates bids for contracts on a 100-point scale that gives more weight to "diversity and inclusion" (15 points) than to the reputation of a vendor's goods and services (10 points) when assessing providers of transcatheter heart valves—devices used to counteract cardiac failure and keep blood flowing throughout the body.

It uses similar weights to select outside providers of cancer screenings. Price and quality receive 20 points each, according to a procurement request reviewed by the Washington Free Beacon, while diversity receives 15, enough to make up for major deficits in other areas. Minority-owned firms earn the 15 points automatically, the criteria state. Other firms are scored on their use of minority subcontractors, measured as a percent of the total contract value they receive.:snip:

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