Buying Groups

Premier Healthcare GPO and Alliance Review


May 15, 2019

Premier is a purchasing group and alliance for healthcare providers.

This review is part of our directory of buying groups/group purchasing organizations.

Buying Group Name: Premier
Industry/Specialty (if applicable):
Number of members:
130,000+ (including 3,750 hospitals)

It has two offices – one in Charlotte, NC, and the other in Washington, DC. The group leverages its purchasing power to benefit members and reduce costs while improving quality of patient care. In addition, Premier offers several other services, such as a best practices database and integrated data tools. The group maintains an events calendar on its website to highlight relevant industry conferences.

The group has been named one of the world’s most ethical companies by the Ethisphere Institute for 9 years in a row, partially due to its transparent ethical standards and green initiatives for sustainable business practices.

How does this group work?

Unlike many other buying groups, it’s not necessary to take part in group purchasing to be part of the Premier alliance. There are five ways to become part of Premier: participate in the group purchasing organization (GPO), purchase a healthcare informatics app, join a collaborative (an information-sharing group), use Premier’s consulting services, and purchase insurance from Premier.

Any of those avenues will grant you membership in the Premier group.

What is its focus?

In addition to helping members save money, Premier’s website states that its focus is improving the health of communities. It does this by offering healthcare providers greater purchasing power, giving members knowledge-sharing opportunities through a database and collaborative groups, and providing access to a healthcare informatics app. Additionally, the group acts as an advocate for shaping healthcare policies.

How does it work in terms of the purchasing process?

Members order through an online catalog. They can access the prices Premier has negotiated with vendors through the catalog, and activate what Premier refers to as “pricing tiers” (pricing levels for products). The online portal enables members to manage the contracts with suppliers through a single pane of glass. Vendors distribute the products directly to members.

How does the buying group choose vendors?

Suppliers submit bids electronically to Premier. A committee of Premier members decides whether a bid is accepted or not. As contract bids become available, the committee reviews supplier bids. Suppliers must wait until a contract is open, unless their product is a ground-breaking innovation that offers significant advances in clinical outcomes, efficiency, or safety. Premier also offers opportunities for businesses owned by minorities, women, and veterans to submit bids on short-term contracts.

The group claims to have relationships with 1,100 suppliers, ensuring you have access to what you need.

How much does it cost to join?

There is no membership fee.

Premier Buying Group Reviews

Premier’s website doesn’t offer reviews, specifically, but there are a number of member case studies, called “Success Stories.” The case studies highlight how a Premier membership helped each healthcare provider. These stories illustrate how members have saved money and increased the efficiency of their operations, first laying out the challenge that the healthcare provider was faced with, and then explaining how Premier helped solve that problem.

If you’ve worked with Premier, let us know what you think in the comments. Would you recommend membership to other healthcare providers?

See also: Introduction to Group Purchasing Organizations.

Ben Dwyer

BY Ben Dwyer

Ben Dwyer began his career in the processing industry in 2003 on the sales floor for a Connecticut‐based processor. As he learned more about the inner‐workings of the industry, rampant unethical practices, and lack of assistance available to businesses, he cut ties with his employer and started a blog where he could post accurate information about credit card processing. As the blog gained in popularity, Ben began directly assisting merchants in their search for a processor. Ben believes in empowering businesses by providing access to fair, competitive pricing, accurate information, and continued support. His dedication to transparency and education has made CardFellow a staunch small business advocate in the credit card processing industry.

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