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Charlotte-based Premier buys equipment planning and analytics company MEMdata

Charlotte-based Premier Inc., which provides purchasing and performance improvement services to an alliance of 2,900 hospitals, on Monday said it bought a company that will help its members save on construction and equipment purchase costs.

College Station, Texas-based MEMdata LLC is an equipment planning and analytics business that focuses on capital equipment needs for new and existing medical facilities. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

MEMdata has proprietary databases that allow customers to analyze equipment specifications and prices. It also provides equipment planning, inventory, procurement and project management services.

“With MEMdata, we now have the ability to provide both planning and transactional support related to capital equipment procurement to help our members further drive savings,” Premier CEO Susan DeVore said in a statement.

Premier, which moved its headquarters to Charlotte from San Diego in 2009, provides group purchasing, data and consulting services to its network of community hospitals and other health care organizations.

In September, Premier became publicly traded, raising $874 million in the largest initial public offering for a Charlotte-based company since at least 1980. The company’s shares are up 16.4 percent from the IPO price of $27, closing Monday at $31.44.

In the quarter ended Dec. 31, the company reported net income of $51.5 million on revenue of $208.9 million. It reported net income of $85.3 million on revenue of $206.4 million a year earlier.

In February, the company had the first change to its board since going public when director Christine Cassel “voluntarily resigned,” according to a securities filing. Cassel, president of the National Quality Forum, left “due to her desire to focus on her work” at the forum, the filing said.

Earlier in the month, Cassel’s position on the Premier board had come under scrutiny as a potential conflict of interest in a report by ProPublica, the nonprofit journalism organization. The National Quality Forum endorses performance measures for use in Medicare and other payment programs.

After Cassel stepped down, the forum told ProPublica serving on boards had given her direct knowledge of health care issues, but the issue of her board involvement had become a “distraction.”

Premier’s board is evaluating whether to add another board member to replace Cassell, according to the securities filing.

Rothacker: 704-358-5170; Twitter: @rickrothacker
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