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Premier, Inc. and Hawaii Medical Service Association Extend Healthcare Improvement Partnership

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CHARLOTTE, N.C., May 19, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Premier, Inc. (Nasdaq:PINC) and the Hawaii Medical Service Association (HMSA) have extended their partnership in a statewide initiative to improve healthcare quality and reduce costs for the people of Hawaii.

HMSA, an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, launched the Advanced Hospital Care program in 2011. The program is the nation's first statewide collaboration between a health plan and hospitals to define and implement new standards of quality improvement. HMSA provides funding for Hawaii hospitals to use Premier analytics and advisory services to improve performance. Program results prompted HMSA to extend the Advanced Hospital Care program and its partnership with Premier through December 2016.

Advanced Hospital Care is one of the only initiatives in America that utilizes national as well as provider-designed and managed measures to improve evidence-based care, safety, patient experience, readmissions, end-of life care, mortality, and costs. The program uses concepts from national policies, such as the hospital value-based purchasing program, and collaborates with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Partnership for Patients. Additionally, a significant percentage of reimbursements for participating hospitals are determined by their performance on quality outcomes measured in the Advanced Hospital Care program.

"HMSA is committed to improving the health and well-being of the people of Hawaii," said Hilton Raethel, executive vice president and chief health officer. "Through Advanced Hospital Care, we have partnered with Premier and all of the primary hospitals in our network to share data and best practices in the areas of quality, patient safety and efficiency. Premier has become a trusted partner not only for HMSA, but also for our hospital network, as we improve the care provided to our members in Hawaii together."

Through Advanced Hospital Care, Hawaii's 13 largest hospitals have access to Premier performance services which allow them to transparently share and compare clinical data, outcomes and experiences with one another, as well as approximately 350 other hospitals participating in Premier's national QUEST® collaborative. The program utilizes QUEST's proven methodology, detailed analytics and collaborative approach performance improvement.

"Advanced Hospital Care enables us to work with other like-minded, quality oriented hospitals across the nation to identify and adopt best practices here in Hawaii," said Dr. Melinda Ashton, senior vice president and chief quality officer for Hawaii Pacific Health. "Together, we have reduced readmissions and harm, and improved patient satisfaction. The extension allows us to refocus our partnership toward the common goal of a sustainable and high-quality healthcare system. We look forward to continuing this effort with HMSA, as well as Premier and its alliance hospitals."

Hawaii hospitals use Premier's integrated analytics, including QualityAdvisor® and SafetyAdvisor®, to support the standard collection of data and make evidence-based decisions. Hospitals also receive guidance from Premier experts, and through networking at national and HMSA-funded regional meetings.

"By benchmarking against and seeking to exceed new performance levels, these hospitals are setting higher standards for healthcare," said Wes Champion, senior vice president of Premier Performance Partners. "We've learned that connecting this knowledge allows us to scale dramatic quality improvements that are benefitting patients across the nation and setting a new performance standard. We're excited to advance this work with HMSA and Hawaii's hospitals."

Premier performance services and best practices are accessed in its integrated technology platform PremierConnect™. The platform aggregates patient data on 1 in 4 U.S. hospital discharges, evidence-based best practices from 2.5 million daily clinical transactions, and approximately $41 billion in annual provider purchases.

About HMSA

Caring for the people of Hawaii is HMSA's promise and privilege. Working together with employers, partners, physicians and other healthcare providers, HMSA promotes wellness; develops reliable, affordable health plans; and supports members with clear, thoughtful guidance. HMSA is the most experienced health plan in the state, covering more than half of Hawaii's population. As a recognized leader, the organization embraces its responsibility to strengthen the health and well-being of its community. Headquartered on Oahu with centers statewide to serve its members, HMSA is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. www.hmsa.com.

About Premier, Inc.

Premier, Inc. (Nasdaq:PINC) is a leading healthcare improvement company, uniting an alliance of approximately 3,000 U.S. hospitals and 110,000 other providers to transform healthcare. With integrated data and analytics, collaboratives, supply chain solutions, and advisory and other services, Premier enables better care and outcomes at a lower cost. Premier, a Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award recipient, plays a critical role in the rapidly evolving healthcare industry, collaborating with members to co-develop long-term innovations that reinvent and improve the way care is delivered to patients nationwide. Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Premier is passionate about transforming American healthcare. Please visit Premier's news and investor sites on www.premierinc.com; as well as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram, Foursquare and Premier's blog for more information about the company.

CONTACT: Alven Weil, Premier, Inc.; Alven_Weil@PremierInc.com, 704.816.5797

Source:Premier, Inc.

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