Healthcare Industry News:  allograft 

Devices Neurosurgery Orthopaedic Group Purchasing

 News Release - July 20, 2007

Premier's Spine Implant Portfolio Produces $30 Million in Member Savings During First Year

Regional Spine Forums 'Increase Understanding of Future Trends'

CHARLOTTE, N.C.--(HSMN NewsFeed)--A year after Premier launched a new portfolio of contracts for spinal implants and related accessories, the agreements have provided Premier members with more than $30 million in aggregated savings while providing expanded product choices as well as new opportunities to learn about future technology and how to improve clinical outcomes.

Premier Inc. awarded 36-month agreements, effective July 1, 2006, for spinal implants and related products to Aesculap Implant Systems, Inc., of Center Valley, Pa.; Biomet Spine (formerly EBI Spine) of Parsippany, N.J.; Medtronic Sofamor Danek of Memphis, Tenn.; and Osteotech, Inc., of Eatontown, N.J. The contracts include spinal hardware, stimulation and biologic products for both pediatric and adult patients.

"By working in partnership with Premier and our suppliers, our members are able to anticipate the impact of new technology and changes in reimbursement while lowering costs and providing high quality services to spine patients," said Premier Purchasing Partners President Mike Alkire.

The spine service line is expected to grow by more than 18 percent in the next five years. The increase in obesity in the United States, as well as the aging baby boomer population and new technology, has meant that more healthcare organizations are enhancing their spine surgery service lines.

Gaston Memorial Hospital in Gastonia, N.C., for example, saved more than $110,000 by using the Osteotech contract for bone allograft, tissue, and demineralized bone matrix products. The hospital also lowered its costs for interbody fusion devices with Medtronic Sofamor Danek.

With the new Biomet Spine contract, LifeBridge Health in Baltimore, Md., saved $60,000 for items such as plates, screws, rods, axial seats, connectors, and biologics. Mercy Medical Center, also in Baltimore, documented more than $160,000 savings by using the Biomet Spine contract.

In addition to direct contract savings, Premier's portfolio is designed to help members manage their overall spine service lines, today and in the future, said Donna Jansen, RN, Premier clinical field specialist. "Understanding that education and changing technology are major components to successful spine surgery outcomes, we began an innovative series of regional Spine Education Forums for members across the country that is extremely popular with members and suppliers."

"Premier's Spine Education Forum provides us with unbiased, objective information," said Dennis Polattie, director of materials management at St. Francis Hospital in Columbus, Ga. Polattie recently attended a spine forum held at Premier's headquarters in Charlotte, N.C. "The forum increased my understanding of future trends in spinal procedures, and provided me with insight into our surgeons' motivations regarding spine services. There is no other shared learning experience like this."

More than 500 representatives from Premier members, along with representatives from the portfolio's vendors, have attended a Spine Education Forum since their inception.

At each session, representatives from Biomet Spine, Aesculap, Medtronic Sofamor Danek, and Osteotech present an educational program on spine anatomy, new procedures, and new technologies, as well as talk with interested members informally.

Jansen and Ted Donnelly, Premier senior region director, describe highlights of each contract and how it can benefit members. In addition, Premier data analysis tools that help members capture savings through alliance contracts are shared along with information about reimbursement and spine service coding.

"The Premier contract presentation is where I learned the most," said Mark Yost, clinical resource/contract administrator at Lexington Medical Center in West Columbia, S.C. "The spine forum provides us a window into the future that can help us keep our hospital well-informed and successful."

Premier members have access to new analytical tools such as Premier's SpineAdvisor Web site, which includes state-of-the-art analytics to measure cost and quality performance as well as support and resources for product conversion, physician engagement and process improvement. SpineFocus, another Premier tool, provides comparative supply chain data to demonstrate potential for lowering implant costs.

"Premier is not just promoting the contracts to sell spine products," said Donnelly. "The industry is changing and we want to educate our members about these changes so they can be ready for the future."

The contracts include spinal hardware, stimulation and biologic products for adult and pediatric patients. Products are available for minimally invasive procedures as well as standard open-spine procedures. Each supplier, along with Premier, offers resources to assist members maximize the quality and effectiveness of spine services to patients in communities they serve.

"Our goal is to find the highest quality product at the best price," said Lisa Molgren, administrative director, Surgical Services at FirstHealth of the Carolinas in Pinehurst, N.C. "Premier gives us the tools to achieve that goal."

About Premier, 2006 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award recipient

Serving 1,700 hospitals and more than 46,500 other healthcare sites, Premier is the largest healthcare alliance in the United States dedicated to improving patient outcomes while safely reducing the cost of care. Owned by not-for-profit hospitals, Premier operates the nation's largest healthcare purchasing network, the most comprehensive repository of hospital clinical and financial information and one of the largest policy-holder owned, hospital professional liability risk-retention groups in healthcare. Headquartered in San Diego, Premier has offices in Charlotte, N.C. and Washington. For more information, visit

Source: Premier Purchasing

Issuer of this News Release is solely responsible for its content.
Please address inquiries directly to the issuing company.

FindReps - Find Great Medical Independent Sales Reps without recruiter fees.
FindReps - available on the Apple App Store for iPhone and iPad.