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What We’re Watching: January 15, 2019


Even with the shutdown, FDA Commissioner Gottlieb has made it clear that funds are available to ensure no slowdown in the approval and inspection process for drug shortage products.

What we’re saying: That’s good to hear because a slowdown could have undermined our efforts to eliminate drug shortages for our members. Premier just announced expanded efforts to supply shortage generic drugs to healthcare providers. ProvideGx is a Premier company that aims to ensure health systems have continuous and affordable access to shortage medications, as well as those in categories that are non-competitive. The company allows Premier to invest in solutions to drug shortages by partnering with generic drug manufacturers that can supply shortage products. ProvideGx is directed by 31 Premier member health systems and our National Pharmacy Committee, representing more than 1,000 hospitals nationwide. This work is part of our ongoing efforts to address drug shortages, including Premier’s advocacy around this issue to provide recommendations to the FDA.


Last week, at the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference various industry leaders announced new acquisitions, partnerships and industry innovations. Among them were Premier leaders discussing where healthcare is going in 2019 and how that will affect Premier and our health systems.

What we’re saying: This year Premier anticipates we will see:

  • The push to value-based care and risk-based payment models accelerate.
  • Physicians take more control, including in alternative payment models and the creation of high-value networks, as they compete for market share.
  • A noticeable uptick in self-insured employers contracting directly with healthcare providers.
  • Significant reform across the pharmaceutical industry.
  • More digital health innovation and adoption, ranging from consumer technology companies venturing deeper into healthcare to wider acceptance of clinical decision support tools.


The ONC shared its annual report on EHR adoption with Congress. Key findings focused on the lack of access to data for healthcare providers, patients seeking their health information and payers seeking clinical data on covered individuals.

What we’re saying: The report foreshadows the release of the long overdue info-block rule with overarching recommendations for future actions by HHS. This includes improving interoperability and upgrading the technical capabilities of health IT, such as secure patient access to all their data that can be easily shared across providers and payers, as well as reduced documentation burdens. Interoperable data is key to the care delivery experience for patients, providers and payers.


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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