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What We’re Watching: March 25, 2019


Premier President and CEO, Susan DeVore, appeared on Mornings with Maria on March 19.

What we’re saying: Susan touched on a variety of topics including Premier’s growth, drug pricing and healthcare innovation.


Premier released an analysis finding that hospitals reduced the incidence of hospital-associated sepsis by 15 percent over the last three years, as well as sepsis readmissions and mortalities. The analysis also found that patients who develop sepsis in the hospital are becoming sicker with the cost of those cases increasing by more than 20 percent.

What we’re saying: The report, Margin of Excellence: Lowering the Incidence and Severity of Hospital-Associated Sepsis, highlights both the progress and opportunities for improvement in treating sepsis. Based on our years of experience, Premier has found that leveraging robust data and analytics, utilizing clinician-enabling tools, optimizing the lab and pharmacy, and creating a culture of collaboration and sustainability are keys to success. In fact, hospitals in Premier’s quality improvement collaborative leveraged customized analytics reports to improve performance, reducing sepsis cases by more than 36 percent and sepsis mortality by more than 18 percent.


The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee will hold its first hearing on the health IT interoperability and information blocking proposed rules on Tuesday, March 26. The hearing will likely focus on two major questions at the heart of the 21st Century Cures Act:

  • Will the rule significantly advance the ability to move data in and out of EHRs and build applications using EHR data within the clinical workflow?
  • Will the rule significantly advance empowering patients by effectively getting their clinical, insurance coverage and price information to them?

What we’re saying: We are glad to see the movement on interoperability getting more visibility. Premier has played a major role in advancing access to and use of EHR data and will submit a statement at the hearing. You may recall we hosted a webinar earlier this month that you can still watch here. We see the focus on getting information to consumers as a bipartisan issue, reflective of the popular demand for provider quality and cost information, which has spiked in recent years. But the industry is still early in this ballgame.


The CMS announced several updates to the Bundled Payments for Care Improvement (BPCI) Advanced program, including plans to open the Model Year 3 application period next month. While 16 percent of the 2018 applicants dropped out of the program after the five-month trial period, nearly 1,300 participants remained in the program.

What we’re saying: Premier is working with its members to analyze claims data and identify opportunities for future success in the program. Organizations participating in Premier’s Bundled Payment Collaborative significantly outperform their peers in bundled payments, and far less dropped out of BPCI Advanced when compared to the national average. The reason so many Premier participants stayed in can be attributed to their understanding of the program as a strategic learning opportunity offering positive financial rewards for success. Our members have been known to refer to this as “the tuition paid now to perform well later.”


What We’re Watching is a weekly blog focused on the current events Premier is following and their relevance to the work of Premier and its members.

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