Premier hospital alliance last week sketched out a customer service reorganization aimed at improving dealings between member provider systems and operational units of the San Diego-based not-for-profit company.
Instead of dealing with each unit, alliance members will work with teams that provide services tailored to individual needs and characteristics, said President Alan Weinstein.
The teams will be composed of staff from units including group purchasing, technology management, consulting, comparative information services, physician practice management and insurance.
Heading the service initiative will be an executive vice president for relationship management, a new position. The company announced the change at a meeting of chief executives of the 1,700-hospital alliance's shareholder organizations in Chicago.
Premier said it will create another executive position responsible for the alliance's group purchasing as part of a push to save money for members by doing more than just controlling the unit costs of goods and equipment. The new executive also will manage orders, delivery, inventory, payment and disposal, said Richard Norling, Premier's chief executive officer.
The alliance launched a restructuring in January to streamline group purchasing, increase cash dividends and align payments more closely with members' purchase volume (Jan. 25, p. 14). Norling said the restructuring is on track to be completed July 1. As part of the plan, the company will distribute $160 million in cash to members in September.