More Than a GPO – Premier’s Efforts in Transforming Healthcare

July 7, 2016

This article originally appeared at

While Premier, Inc. is widely known for operating one of the nation’s largest group purchasing organizations (GPOs) by volume, many may be unaware of the additional suite of valuable services that the company provides to its members to improve the health of communities.

Premier is a leading healthcare performance improvement company, uniting an alliance of approximately 3,600 U.S. hospitals – 74 percent of U.S. community hospitals – and 120,000 other providers. Premier alliance members purchase approximately $44 billion worth of product through Premier’s GPO per year. With integrated data and analytics, collaboratives, supply chain solutions, and advisory and other services, Premier enables better patient care and outcomes at a lower cost.

Big data is becoming more and more important to businesses. Being able to appropriately integrate and analyze data is critical in improving performance and being successful in the marketplace. Premier’s healthcare information technology platform, known as the Premier healthcare database, integrates clinical, operational and financial data. The data repository captures one in every three hospital discharges in the country.

Premier Research Services offers four critical domains to the biopharma community. Using Premier’s data assets and collaborations, the group provides retrospective research, including outcomes research, comparative effectiveness and market access analysis; prospective research, including registries and quality improvement, as well as comparative effectiveness; education, including quality improvement and therapeutic area education for patients and providers; and clinical trial support services, including patient population assessment, protocol modeling and trial site identification.

The broad spectrum of services provided by Premier Research Services can help a company throughout a product’s life cycle. As products are preparing for launch, a pharmacovigilance program is needed. We can do both retrospective and prospective studies with the data systems that we have in place,” said Bimal Shah, MD, MBA, service line vice president, Premier Research Services. “Additionally, we can help with clinical trial support, finding patients for studies, and helping identify current and future indications. We also help manufacturers identify both high-volume and capable sites. Finally, through our extensive work within the biopharma community, as well as specialty societies, we are able to develop and deliver exceptional educational content. At Premier we do whatever possible to deliver value back to our member hospitals and their clinicians as it relates to improving clinical care.”

The Premier healthcare database is considered best-in-class in terms of hospital-based data, with both inpatient and outpatient claims covering approximately 130 million unique lives.

“As you think about wanting to understand how your products are being used in some of the largest health systems in the country, all of that data resides within Premier,” said Dr. Shah.

Premier also provides an integrated performance improvement platform, PremierConnect®, which provides innovative solutions across supply chain, operations, quality, safety, population health and research domains as well as enterprise data services and access to the PremierConnect social community. The social community provides Premier members with a unique way of connecting with each other to stay abreast of rapid changes in today’s healthcare world. Accessible to approximately 100,000 subscribers, it serves as a social community for members to interact with each other, even at the C-suite level, to understand best practices, view new guidelines, and post standardized protocols for specific therapeutic areas.

“PremierConnect was created as a collaboration tool to enhance members’ ability to share collective knowledge, as well as communicate ideas and innovations,” said Greg Archer, vice president, Informatics and Technology Services, who has guided the development and implementation of the platform. “The content is rich. There are self-generated user profiles so we know who we’re talking to and best of all, dialogues are captured creating a trail of new content.”

One of the additional benefits of PremierConnect is the speed in which members can be informed and educated. When the first Ebola case was reported in Dallas in 2014, a community was developed in PremierConnect. The PremierConnect Ebola Preparedness channel provided up-to-date information and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as provided news, educational programs and recordings, sample policies and key documents for subscribers to access. The platform became a trusted resource for Premier members to access a collection of knowledge about Ebola.

Premier understands the importance of pharmacy and how critical it is for healthcare providers to succeed in the future. To support its members, Premier also provides the following integrated pharmacy capabilities and solutions:

  • A specialty pharmacy division known as Commcare is the power behind Premier’s Specialty Pharmacy and Care Management program. With more than 18 years of operating experience, Commcare is nationally licensed and currently serves more than 25,000 customers. The pharmacy provides full dispensing, specialty care management capabilities, clinical assistance programs, online prescriber and patient access, and is URAC and ACHC accredited.
  • Premier’s pharmacy benefits management program administered by MedImpact is tailored to hospitals, health systems and their health plans. The program is organized around the purchasing power and collaborative strength of the Premier alliance to reduce pharmacy benefit costs, while ensuring appropriate utilization through clinical programs. The program provides significant savings and clinical program management to our members and their employees with the goal of producing a low net cost in the delivery of the pharmacy benefits.
  • Premier Performance Partners provides pharmacy cost management consulting services and programs.
  • Premier supply chain services include PremierProRx®, branded and generic contracts, and care management programs.

For more information on Premier services, visit:

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