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University Health Network and Vanderbilt Health Affiliated Network join forces to create statewide value-based health care alliance

Sep. 26, 2018, 3:24 PM

by Will Ayers

The University Health Network (UHN), a clinically integrated network and accountable care organization (ACO) based in Knoxville that includes The University of Tennessee Medical Center (UTMC) and University Physicians’ Association (UPA), as well as various partnerships and joint ventures with physicians and health care companies across East Tennessee, has announced an affiliation with the Vanderbilt Health Affiliated Network (VHAN), a network of providers working together to transform health care to be more proactive, accessible and affordable for all. The new relationship with UHN creates a statewide network that can improve the quality and reduce the cost of healthcare across Tennessee.

The agreement creates a relationship between UHN, which is comprised of 87 practices and 1,000+ providers who are members of the UPA, and VHAN’s 12 health systems, 60 plus hospitals, 350 plus practices and 5,000 providers, that will advance innovation, transformation, and value in healthcare. Through this connection, all providers participating in UHN, including UTMC, are in-network for people across Tennessee who are covered by select insurance plans working with VHAN.

Founded in 2012, VHAN is a collaborative alliance of physicians, health systems, and employers driving a new level of clinical innovation and teamwork to enhance patient care, contain costs, and improve the health of communities in Tennessee and surrounding states. As a provider-led organization, VHAN also creates innovative solutions that improve the quality and value of health care across the Southeast through value-based agreements on behalf of more than 300,000 people.

“This agreement brings together two of the leading organizations in the health care industry, joining forces to leverage our individual expertise, to result in a more efficient and higher quality health care delivery system for our collective patients,” said Joe Landsman, president and CEO of The University of Tennessee Medical Center and a board member for UHN.

“Through this effort, we’ll be able to address the chronic illnesses that plague so many throughout Tennessee, while also reducing cost from the health care system.”

“The University Health Network’s agreement with VHAN will profoundly increase our collective ability to achieve the ambitious population health goals that both of our organizations share,” said C. Wright Pinson, MBA, MD, Deputy Chief Executive Officer and Chief Health System Officer for Vanderbilt University Medical Center, and Chairman of the Board for VHAN.

“In order to combat widespread public health issues like obesity and diabetes, we need to be a true statewide network, and UHN’s participation makes that vision a reality. We look forward to harnessing our complementary strengths to make health care more effective and affordable for millions of Tennesseans.”

Both organizations recognize that progressive health systems must seek out new ways to improve the quality, value and experience of health care services for patients across Tennessee.

“When like-minded organizations like UHN and VHAN work together to solve large-scale population health problems, communities across the Southeast can benefit tremendously,” said David Posch, MS, Executive Vice President of Population Health for Vanderbilt University Medical Center and Executive Director of VHAN.

With UHN’s participation, VHAN now offers access to high-quality health care for employers and families across Tennessee and surrounding states, including the Chattanooga, Knoxville, Memphis, and Nashville metro areas, as well as numerous rural communities.

“The collaboration between UHN and VHAN will allow for significant information sharing between physicians for the benefit of our patients,” said Amy Barger Stevens, MD, board chair of UHN and a primary care physician at UTMC.

“Together, we’re creating a new patient-centric care delivery system that spans the entire episode of care and helps patients navigate their way through their entire health care journey with optimal outcomes.”

Physician leaders from both organizations are currently collaborating on strategies for quality and value improvement in multiple clinical and operational areas.

To learn more about VHAN’s statewide reach with UHN or to search for network providers, visit

Participating health systems include:

  •  Baptist Memorial Healthcare
  •  Cookeville Regional Medical Center
  •  Erlanger Health System
  •  Jennie Stuart Health
  •  LifePoint Health
  •  Maury Regional Medical Center
  •  Mountain States Health Alliance (ISHN)
  •  NorthCrest Health
  •  Saint Thomas Midtown, Nashville and Saint Thomas Rutherford, Murfreesboro
  •  University of Tennessee Medical Center
  •  Vanderbilt University Medical Center and Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt
  •  West Tennessee Healthcare
  •  Williamson Medical Center.

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