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Q&A with Premier’s Mike Alkire

Published in: The Journal of Healthcare Contracting

Premier (Charlotte, NC) announced in February that President Mike Alkire will succeed Susan DeVore as CEO and continue to serve as president and a member of the board, effective May 1.

Alkire participated in a Q&A with The Journal of Healthcare Contracting (JHC), covering his 18 years at Premier and the past 12 months of the pandemic. Alkire also answered questions about transitioning to the CEO role and Premier’s trajectory for 2021.

The Journal of Healthcare Contracting (JHC): How have GPOs changed during your 18 years at Premier?

Mike Alkire: The way that Premier has evolved is three-fold: Driving higher-committed contracting strategies that result in best-in-industry pricing; technology-enabling supply chain to drive greater transparency and capture all non-labor spend of a health system; and creating strategies that vertically integrate the supply chain to drive opportunities for domestic manufacturing and reduce our health systems’ dependence on China and other countries controlling certain markets.

Our members are now looking for Premier to aid them in evolving the supply chain away from an isolated, transactional purchasing activity and toward a strategic and technology-enabled, enterprise-wide function capable of helping providers deliver better care, improve outcomes, enable population health strategies and lower costs.

Using robust data analytics, it’s clear that we can increase cost transparency for providers to identify savings and efficiency opportunities. But the most effective partners are those that are providing innovative solutions that set health systems apart in their local markets and enable them to be successful and sustainable into the future. In addition, it’s now crucial that we stay on top of policy and regulatory developments and marketplace dynamics to help resolve drug shortages, mitigate supply disruptions and optimize purchased services spend, among other activities.

As one example, Premier’s generic drug sourcing program ProvideGx gives members access to more than 150 drugs that are or have been recently designated as shortage drugs – and has successfully protected supply even as demand surged more than 150% during COVID-19. A unique model in the market, ProvideGx aggregates demand from U.S. hospitals and engages manufacturers in long-term committed buying contracts, providing the surety they need to increase production or move into new markets. We also continue to focus on meeting our members’ personalized needs, including the development of purchased services, oncology and pediatric-specific GPOs.

Further, we are leading the value-based transition from the population health space into supply chain. As the market continues to incent healthcare providers to improve outcomes, suppliers are raising their hands to go at risk with hospitals and guarantee their products’ performance. And hospitals, for their part, are looking for more value-based contracting opportunities – 95% of integrated delivery networks are interested in and/or ready for these types of contracts, according to a November 2020 Premier survey. We actively work with our members to develop and deploy a data-driven value-based contracting approach that aligns with their priority needs and organizational goals.

Hospitals and health systems across the nation are also leveraging supply chain and performance improvement technology to drive organizational decision-making, standardize care and eliminate variation. For example, one prominent health system identified $80 million in savings per year over the next five years by minimizing care variability using Premier’s platforms. This technology is propelling supply chain automation as well, from vendor sourcing and contract management to e-payable capabilities, which are poised to create significant efficiencies and save providers millions.

Alongside the continued evolution of health care, Premier has grown into a service-oriented partner and health care technology and improvement company with our industry-leading portfolio, advanced technology and data platforms, best-in-KLAS consulting team and member-driven collaboratives – delivering cutting-edge solutions for our members and enabling the transformation that drives the industry forward.

Full Q&A

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