Rural California Hospital Saves $1.2 Million in First Year with the Premier Healthcare Alliance

A rural hospital in El Centro, Calif. saved $1.2 million in its first year as a Premier healthcare alliance group purchasing member.

Small independent rural hospitals like El Centro Regional Medical Center (ECRMC) need financial security with impending reforms, and growing state and federal reimbursement cuts. Owned by hospitals, Premier operates the nation’s largest healthcare performance improvement alliance. ECRMC joined Premier by becoming an affiliate of Adventist Health and leaving its former group purchasing organization’s unsatisfactory supply expense reduction efforts.

“Making this change has far exceeded our expectations with $1.2 million in documented savings during the first calendar year,” ECRMC Supply Chain Management Senior Director Tony Hinds said. “It’s shocking. I was looking for something in the $600,000 range. We almost doubled that. I would recommend Adventist Health-Premier.”

Adventist Health Materiel Management Affiliate Program team leaders service affiliates by communicating with them regularly to analyze spend for savings and quality improvement opportunities, resolve conflicts, make contracting decisions, and ensure affiliates are getting the right prices.

The program currently consists of 45 acute care hospitals, more than 3,700 beds and $700 million of aggregated local volume. Affiliate department heads and materials managers can participate in monthly Adventist Health department calls and biyearly face-to-face meetings. There are no membership fees, compliance requirements or long-term contracts.

“We signed a simple agreement that did not tie our hands,” said Hinds. “It offered us better pricing in return for aggregating our volume with Adventist Health. It’s a no-brainer – if you want a seat at the table, if you want to be heard, if you want to be a part of the decision-making process, and if you want to save a lot of money. It was a good decision for ECRMC.”

About El Centro Regional Medical Center

El Centro Regional Medical Center, El Centro, Calif., is an acute care medical center, serving the healthcare needs of the Imperial Valley since 1956. After a $44 million expansion, what started as a 34-bed licensed hospital has grown to 165 beds. The expansion project allowed for a state-of-the-art facility, including a new trauma center and rooftop heliport for superior trauma care.

About Adventist Health

Adventist Health is a faith-based, not-for-profit integrated healthcare delivery system serving communities in California, Hawaii, Oregon and Washington. Its workforce of 28,700 includes more than 21,000 employees, 4,500 medical staff physicians, and 3,000 volunteers. Founded on Seventh-day Adventist health values, Adventist Health provides compassionate care in 19 hospitals, more than 150 clinics (hospital-based, rural health and physician clinics), 14 home care agencies, six hospice agencies and four joint-venture retirement centers. Visit for more information.

About the Premier healthcare alliance, Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award recipient

Premier is a performance improvement alliance of more than 2,600 U.S. hospitals and 84,000-plus other healthcare sites using the power of collaboration to lead the transformation to high-quality, cost-effective care. Owned by hospitals, health systems and other providers, Premier maintains the nation’s most comprehensive repository of clinical, financial and outcomes information and operates a leading healthcare purchasing network. A world leader in helping deliver measurable improvements in care, Premier has worked with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and the United Kingdom’s National Health Service North West to improve hospital performance.