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What We’re Watching: November 12, 2019

A DIFFERENT KIND OF SHORTAGE

2019 has taught us that shortages don’t just apply to drugs – healthcare providers today need to keep an eye on medical device shortages, too. In fact, the shutdown of multiple medical device sterilization facilities in 2019 is poised to jeopardize the availability of devices that are critical to patient care, including IVs, needles and stents.

What we’re saying: On Wednesday, Nov. 6, the FDA hosted a panel to hear about the risks associated with facility shutdowns and potential action steps. Chaun Powell, Group Vice President, Strategic Supplier Engagement for Premier and Dr. Kara Mascitti, the Medical Director & President of Healthcare Epidemiology and Infection Prevention President for St. Luke’s Infectious Disease Associates testified on behalf of Premier members to discuss how close the device industry is to hitting a breaking point – and what can be done about it. Read their testimonies here.

ABOUT THAT EVENT IN DC

Last week, Premier co-hosted a kick-off Capitol Hill briefing on the Mitigating Emergency Drug Shortages (MEDS) Act (S. 2723).

What we’re saying: Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) delivered the opening remarks and multiple Premier members participated. Premier also signed a letter of support for the MEDS Act with 47 (and counting) other organizations. The legislation will help Premier build on the successes we have already achieved in bringing 15 shortage drugs to market.

YOU’RE INVITED

This week, Premier is hosting two separate webinars to review payment rules and primary care models.

What we’re saying: The first webinar will be held on Wednesday, Nov. 13, and will review the requests for application for CMS’s Primary Care First and Kidney Care Choices Models. The second webinar will be held on Friday, Nov. 15, to review the calendar year 2020 Medicare outpatient prospective payment system and physician fee schedule final rules.

WELCOMING A NEW MEMBER

Premier announced that it is working with VCU Health System, a comprehensive Level I trauma center verified in adult, pediatric and burn trauma care located in Richmond, Virginia.

What we’re saying: Premier will be working with VCU Health to design and implement an innovative financial strategy and roadmap focused on advancing cost management, savings and investment opportunities. VCU Health will access Premier’s supply chain services, including its group purchasing organization and advanced analytics. VCU Health will also implement Premier’s service line analytics.

WELCOMING MEDPRICER

Premier has acquired Medpricer, a software-as-a-services (SaaS) provider of technology solutions that enable hospitals and other organizations to analyze, benchmark and source purchased services contracts independent of any existing group purchasing organization affiliation. Medpricer’s platform uses machine learning to validate, compare and onboard purchased services suppliers; track and measure spend by category, supplier and facility; benchmark contracts terms to ensure competitive rates; set and manage specific savings targets; and manage contract compliance.

What we’re saying: Purchased services (those provided by a third-party vendor to accomplish routine, continuing and necessary clinical and non-clinical functions) are often managed in disparate departments, lacking centralized data or oversight, making them difficult to aggregate for volume-based discounts. Most healthcare providers are managing these contracts using home-grown solutions with a limited view across all of their contracts. Medpricer, in combination with Premier’s categorized purchased services spend data and performance improvement technology suite, will create a one-stop-shop for healthcare margin improvement.

WHAT’S GOING ON IN ONCOLOGY

CMS issued a request for information and held a public listening session on Nov. 4 to seek input on a potential Oncology Care First Model.

What we’re saying: Premier continually evaluates the opportunities and benefits that alternative payment programs offer our members. In April, Premier experts published a piece in Health Affairs on the keys to success in the CMS’s Oncology Care Model and ways to improve the program.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

What We’re Watching is a bi-weekly blog focused on the current events Premier is following and their relevance to the work of Premier and its members. Check out our last update!

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