Premier Inc., an alliance of 3,400 hospitals/health systems and 110,000 non-acute provider sites, has acquired ambulatory remote software hosting vendor CECity, which serves 1.2 million healthcare professionals, for $400 million.

CECity offers platforms supporting performance measurement and improvement, care coordination, quality reporting programs, continuing medical education, back office functions, maintenance of certifications and registry reporting.

“CECity’s solutions can be deployed within an organization to address critical needs such as never events, patient safety, quality improvement and meaningful use, or across disparate stakeholders in support of accountable care organizations, coordination of care, hospital readmissions, value-based purchasing and much more,” according to the vendor’s website.

What CECity most importantly brings is a much larger ambulatory footprint than Premier has had, says Keith Figlioli, senior vice president of healthcare informatics at Premier. CECity, which focuses on the ambulatory market, has relationships with more than 100 medical societies and has more than 30,000 doctors using just its PQRS reporting tool, he notes. Premier was building ambulatory capabilities internally and now that project will quickly scale up. CECity also brings to Premier an established continuing medical education program and ambulatory data for research with life sciences companies.

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Premier expects the acquisition will increase adjusted earnings by 2-4 cents in fiscal 2016 and 8-10 cents in fiscal 2017. The company financed the deal with $250 million in cash and the borrowing of $150 million from an untapped $750 million revolving credit facility, with closing expected by the end of September.

Both companies in early 2015 partnered to work on developing end-to-end value-based purchasing reporting tools as hospitals continue to buy more physician practices, and that’s when interested in expanding the partnership by combining started to grow, Figlioli says.

CECity and its 134 employees and contractors will continue to operate out of its Pittsburgh headquarters, Figlioli says. The location will assist Premier in recruiting from University of Pittsburgh, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and Carnegie Mellon University.

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