Premier Inc. Healthcare Alliance Acquires Cereplex, Inc.


CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The Premier Inc. healthcare alliance announced today that it has acquired Cereplex, Inc., to rapidly spread breakthrough technology for reducing hospital infections and overuse of antibiotics.

Cereplex represents a perfect fit with our alliances goal of transforming American healthcare to make it the safest and most effective in the world, said Richard A. Norling, president and CEO of Premier Inc. By acquiring the technology and expertise of Cereplex, we believe we can make a dramatic impact for patients by reducing hospital-acquired infections and overuse of antibiotics.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 90,000 people die each year from hospital-acquired infections, and an additional 1.9 million patients, or 6 percent to 10 percent of inpatients, acquire infections during their hospital stay. Hospitals use services from Cereplex to prevent outbreaks of infection and protect patients by continuously tracking hospital infections and antibiotic use via Web-based reporting tools.

Preventing and controlling infection is a key aspect in improving patient treatment and patient safety, as well as reducing hospital costs, said Dan Peterson, MD, MPH, Cereplex president and CEO. Cereplex shares a common goal with Premier of continuously improving safety for patients and hospital employees. We look forward to making an even greater impact on infection control and healthcare quality as part of the Premier family.

Currently, the majority of hospitals are only able to do targeted manual surveillance of high-risk infection areas due to a lack of manpower. With Cereplex's solutions, hospitals have the ability to automate the surveillance of lab data and documentation of findings related to hospital infections and antibiotic usage. This can be achieved across the entire hospital, not just in specified units.

More than 1,700 local hospitals and thousands of other healthcare providers link together through Premier to improve patient outcomes by sharing knowledge and resources. Premier anticipates rapidly expanding the reach of Cereplexs breakthrough technology while mining the data on infections and antibiotic use to identify and share best practices. The data will become part of Premiers Perspective database, the largest and most comprehensive resource of its kind in healthcare.

Over 70 percent of hospital infections have shown some resistance to antibiotics, which are typically administered to half of hospitalized patients. Experts estimate that up to 50 percent of hospital antibiotic use is unnecessary. Hospitals using Cereplexs antibiotic monitoring system have reported reducing antibiotic costs as much as 23 percent through reduction in inappropriate use of the increasingly costly drugs.

Hospitals face tremendous pressure to control infections and their associated costs, and the problem has drawn national attention from regulatory and advocacy groups. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has proposed a plan, which would take effect in October 2008, to eliminate reimbursement payments for infections that CMS deems preventable. To date, 13 states have passed legislation requiring mandated public reporting of hospital infections and an additional 17 states have proposed legislative activity for mandated reporting. In March 2006, members of a House subcommittee debated tying Medicare and Medicaid payments to measures of hospital infection rates.

Infection control and curbing antibiotic resistance are extremely important issues for Premier to address as we continue to help our hospitals improve patient treatment and safety, as well as reduce hospital costs, said Stephanie Alexander, Premier senior vice president for Healthcare Informatics.

The potential elimination of hospital infection reimbursements from CMS makes addressing these issues that much more significant, Alexander said. Cereplex is an important addition to our comprehensive suite of solutions, representing another set of tools to reduce complications, length of stay, mortalities and costs, all of which improve quality of care.

Source: Premier Inc.




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