First chair in important domain of healthcare purchasing

The health sector forms a large and growing part of GDP across the globe. National and local governments and insurers face the challenge of putting these ever increasing budgets at work to purchase high-quality health services and meet the demands of their populations. As a response to this challenge, Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) and the Institute of Health Policy & Management (iBMG) of Erasmus University Rotterdam instated a new academic chair in Purchasing and Supply Management in Health Care – endowed by the Erasmus Trust Fund. Professor Erik van Raaij has been appointed as the chair holder.

Professor Van Raaij will study the purchasing of care and notes that better purchasing strategies and a better perspective over the value chain could improve the situation, but it would require purchasing to be viewed as more than just ‘buying’ health care services and goods. Steef van de Velde, dean of RSM, declares on this occasion: “This new chair focuses on an exciting new research direction (Purchasing and Supply Management in Health care) highly relevant to Dutch society.” Werner Brouwer, dean of iBMG, adds: “It is a new and exciting collaboration between iBMG and RSM in the field of health care and management.”

Integrated purchasing

How do health care insurers and government buy health services, and do these services match the needs and expectations of users? “Increasingly the market demands integration of activities and links in the care chain to get the best health outcomes for clients,” said Van Raaij. “But the dominant model of purchasing is still based on negotiating volumes and prices per single provider. But this approach can create conflicts, and research is needed to align contracting and contract management with integrated care chains.”

Outcome-based contracting

A commonly heard complaint from care providers is they pay too much for medical devices, pharmaceuticals and other health care goods. To counter this, new initiatives in the purchasing for care are already being tested. For example, financers are joining providers to increase purchasing leverage in negotiations with suppliers. Another new development is outcome-based contracting for medical equipment, pharmaceuticals, and services. Van Raaij says his research will also evaluate how effective these purchasing strategies are in balancing health care costs with quality of care.

About Professor Van Raaij

Next to his new appointment at RSM and iBMG, Prof. Erik van Raaij is a member of the Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), a joint research institute of RSM and the Erasmus School of Economics (ESE). He is also an Executive Committee member of the International Purchasing and Supply Education and Research Association (IPSERA) and a member of the Academy of Management (AOM). His work has been published in journals such as Journal of Management Studies, Organization Science, Journal of Business Ethics, and Journal of Supply Chain Management. He is also an associate editor for the Journal of Purchasing & Supply Management. His frequent professional magazine publications have contributed greatly to the ongoing societal debate in the Netherlands about the complex dynamics between health care providers, health care insurance companies and national government.

He earned his PhD in marketing from the University of Twente in 2001, and his MSc in technology management from the same university in 1994.

Professor Van Raaij has also received several awards and commendations for teaching excellence. He will continue teaching at MSc level in health care purchasing, purchasing and supply management, and empirical research methodology.

More information

Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) is one of Europe’s leading business schools, and ranked among the top three for research. RSM provides ground-breaking research and education furthering excellence in all aspects of management and is based in the international port city of Rotterdam – a vital nexus of business, logistics and trade. RSM’s primary focus is on developing business leaders with international careers who carry their innovative mindset into a sustainable future thanks to a first-class range of bachelor, master, MBA, PhD and executive programmes. RSM also has offices in Chengdu, China, and Taipei, Taiwan.

Institute of Health Policy & Management (iBMG)
The Institute of Health Policy & Management (iBMG) at Erasmus University Rotterdam is leading in the Netherlands with its educational and research activities targeted at policy and management issues in health care. The institute offers a bachelor programme, two master programmes and post-academic educational programmes and courses.

At iBMG, research and educational activities are closely intertwined. Knowledge and experiences of various scientific disciplines such as economics, law, social-medical sciences, organisational science and public administration are brought together and applied to the health care sector. This multidisciplinary approach to education and research is unique.

For more information about RSM or this release, please contact Marianne Schouten, Media & Public Relations Manager for RSM, on +31 10 408 2877 or by email at