The Journal of Healthcare Contracting Top Ten People to Watch: Durral Gilbert

October 6, 2016

This article originally appeared in The Journal of Healthcare Contracting ( on Aug. 17, 2016. 

Durral R. Gilbert

  • President of Supply Chain Services, Premier Inc.
  • Premier consists of 3,600 U.S. hospitals and 120,000 other providers; $44 billion in member purchasing volume.

Durral R. Gilbert joined Premier in 2006 as vice president of supply chain operations. Today, as president of supply chain services, he leads Premier’s core supply chain business, including sourcing, contract management, operations and business analytics. In addition, he oversees the organization’s direct sourcing business and integrated pharmacy offerings, including specialty pharmacy and pharmacy benefit management.

The Journal of Healthcare Contracting: What has been the most challenging and rewarding project you have been involved in recently?

Durral R. Gilbert: One project is Premier’s Partnership for Advancement of Comparative Effectiveness Review (PACER) collaborative. In this collaborative, health systems come together to examine clinical evidence and outcomes, as well as price and usage data, to determine best practices and unnecessary variation across physician preference item (PPI) areas. The project is focused on expanding the industry’s understanding of supply chain efficiency to include and account for clinical outcomes and utilization patterns. Each PACER cohort consists of six to 10 IDNs that engage their physicians, hospital administrators and supply chain leaders to share clinical data on utilization, outcomes and spend. In a recent PACER project, seven IDNs came together to identify opportunities to change their current cochlear implant practices; adjust purchasing patterns to reduce costs while improving or maintaining quality; and increase care options for patients. After reviewing the clinical evidence and outcomes, the PACER cohort entered into a multi-tiered contract with a single vendor. Savings have ranged from 10 to 35 percent and have increased the number of cochlear implant procedures scheduled among these IDNs.

JHC: Please describe a project you look forward to implementing in the next year or two.

Gilbert: One area in particular we have focused on is pharmacy. The pharmacy landscape is experiencing significant cost and pricing pressures, and Premier’s integrated pharmacy capabilities are designed to help our members manage their drug spend across the care continuum, gain access to drugs in short supply or with limited distribution, focus on quality and safety initiatives, and reduce pharmacy benefit costs while ensuring appropriate utilization. Through our specialty pharmacy platform, we’re coordinating benefits for insured patients, as well as working with patient assistance programs and local charities to cover costs for the uninsured. We also provide access to care managers who will remain in regular touch with patients to ensure prescriptions are being filled and taken as ordered. Additionally, we offer special clinical pharmacist and nursing care to answer vital questions from prescribers and patients. These interventions have already saved nearly $200,000 among 259 patients over 17 months, and we’ve helped over 80 percent of low income patients substantially reduce their out-of-pocket expenses associated with therapy.

JHC: What are the most important qualities you look for in a supplier partner?

Gilbert: Generally, we seek to partner with health systems, payers, government entities, manufacturers and distributors to create long-term solutions to inefficient healthcare spending.

JHC: What is the greatest change we can expect to see in healthcare contracting in the next five years?

Gilbert: Negotiating pricing is a foundational piece of the GPO model, but the next frontier is using meaningful data to get to a price point of zero, where products are not used where they are not needed to advance clinical outcomes.


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