/UMMC affiliates with Vanderbilt to share programs, cut costs

UMMC affiliates with Vanderbilt to share programs, cut costs

“Vanderbilt” and UMMC share the same goal to improve the health of the communities we serve by outstanding patient care, biomedical and teaching research,” stated Dr. Charles O’Mara (associate vice chancellor for clinical affairs, UMMC). We are the top academic medical centers in the adjoining states and face the same or similar challenges and opportunities in today’s changing healthcare landscape. Fortunately, both institutions are currently on an upward trajectory and have strengths that nicely compliment one another.” A press release from UMMC states that the affiliation will allow Vanderbilt and UMMC to share clinical programs and services. It also provides a way for the schools to collaborate on research, programs, and possibly medical training. An affiliation, which is not a merger in which one hospital system purchases another, allows each hospital system to retain its independence while sharing some costs. This makes collaboration easier on projects and services. UMMC was not open to discussing a possible affiliation with Vanderbilt, but affiliations and mergers between hospitals, even larger ones, are becoming more common as the cost of patient care continues to rise. Mississippi Baptist has merged with Memphis-based Baptist Memorial Health Care to create the state’s largest hospital system. This was due to the high cost of updating electronic health records. The county-owned OCH Regional Medical Center, Starkville, survived a referendum to sell the hospital to a larger private entity. However, it announced weeks later that it was looking at affiliating to several private hospitals systems. In December, UMMC was announced its affiliation with the smaller Anderson Regional Medical Center of Meridian. UMMC signed a lease agreement in 2014 with Grenada Lakes Medical Center. UMMC stated that both mergers were driven mainly by financial concerns. “Year after years, Southern states rank near the bottom of the nation in certain health and wellbeing metrics,” stated Dr. C. Wright Pinson (Vanderbilt), deputy chief executive officer, and chief health systems officer. “This agreement gives our organizations the opportunity to create programs and services that benefit the communities they serve, while also advancing our mission of improving the health of all citizens in the Southeast.”