Premier buys performance analytics specialist for $400 million

Purchase of CECity to expand team, data, technology, capabilities
By Bernie Monegain
01:57 PM
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Susan DeVore

Healthcare improvement alliance Premier will spend $400 million to acquire CECity, a privately-held, SaaS-based healthcare solutions company. Much like Premier, CECity focuses on performance management and improvement, pay-for-value reporting and professional education.

Both organizations have as their stated goal to help hospitals and other healthcare entities deliver higher-quality, more cost-effective care.

Premier unites an alliance of 3,400 hospitals and health systems, as well as 110,000 non-acute sites of care. The organization is a Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award recipient. CECity serves more than 1.2 million individual healthcare professionals; more than 5,000 individual practices; and more than 100 professional societies, quality improvement organizations and certifying boards.

[See also: What makes a high performing hospital? Ask Premier.]

Under the agreement, Premier will purchase 100 percent of CECity's outstanding stock for $400 million. This amount will be funded by $250 million of cash on hand and $150 million borrowed from its untapped $750 million revolving line of credit. The transaction is expected to close in Premier's fiscal first quarter ending Sept. 30, 2015.

"This transaction is exciting and timely for many reasons," Susan DeVore, president and CEO of Premier, said in announcing the deal. "We are enhancing our capability to provide turnkey performance improvement and measurement reporting solutions in a rapidly expanding market. These capabilities are critical given the ongoing movement toward population health, as well as emerging Medicare requirements for all physicians to start reporting on a range of new performance measurements."

"The combination will support unique, end-to-end solutions that span the continuum of care, supporting providers as they move toward advanced payment models," Premier's chief operating officer Michael J. Alkire, added. "Our many capabilities will include furthering physicians' abilities to meet and exceed all value-based payment and meaningful use requirements; enabling medical practices to send clinical patient data in real time to designated registries; and deepening our relationships with healthcare professionals across North America through private and public portals."

Integrating CECity's capabilities, Premier will provide one consolidated source for both ambulatory and acute care performance management that supports and aligns providers with value-based care. Premier will enhance its payer and vendor-agnostic platform with expanded data collection, measurement and monitoring, growing its ability to offer quality cycle management, regulatory reporting and performance improvement services.

Premier will also have the ability to automate the flow of information directly from physician practices to qualified clinical data registries, in partnership with national professional societies, accelerating improvement and the delivery of high-quality, coordinated care. Also, combining CECity's integrated and extensible learning management platform with the collaborative learning and research services developed by Premier and its members will further advance and broaden evidence-based quality improvement solutions, according to Premier executives.

[See also: Premier makes big connect with big data.]

"Our two companies share the same goal of transforming healthcare," Lloyd Myers, CECity president and CEO, said in a news release. "Together we will offer seamless, cloud-based solutions across the continuum of care that make information exchange and pay-for-value reporting both secure and simple for hospitals, providers and payers. We believe this is a 'game changer' that can fulfill the promise of continuous learning health systems to improve quality and safety for hospitals, healthcare professionals and their patients, at scale."

CECity and its 134 employees/contractors will continue to operate out of headquarters in Pittsburgh.

"This is a proven partnership," noted Keith J. Figlioli, senior vice president of healthcare informatics at Premier. "Premier and our member health systems have successfully partnered with CECity on the development and delivery of performance improvement solutions to accountable care organizations. So we already know our integrated solutions are effective."