March 13, 1998

Joint venture teams VUMC, local primary care physician practice

Joint venture teams VUMC, local primary care physician practice

Vanderbilt University Medical Center has joined forces with Nashville Healthcare Group (NHG), a primary care medical practice comprised of 14 physicians operating out of five locations in the Nashville area.

The recently completed joint venture agreement forms a new entity, Vanderbilt Integrated Providers/Nashville Healthcare Group, L.L.C.

The agreement, financial terms of which were not disclosed, teams one of Nashville's premier primary care practices with VUMC's broad array of specialized care. NHG's primary care physicians have a strong patient base of approximately 30,000 covered lives.

"The physicians of Nashville Healthcare Group view this as a strong alliance with one of the nation's foremost medical centers. Vanderbilt is a proven provider of top-flight health care services," said Dr. Pamela G. Standard, medical director and president of NHG.

"We see this as an exciting opportunity to partner with Vanderbilt to do even more for our patients. This provides our patients the opportunity to be cared for in a high-quality integrated network."

The partnership between Vanderbilt and NHG is further demonstration of the medical center's determination to develop a top-quality, comprehensive health care system, said Dr. John S. Sergent, professor of Medicine and chief medical officer of the Vanderbilt Medical Group.

"The NHG physicians have established a reputation for quality and patient satisfaction that is second to none. These are highly qualified, dedicated doctors who bring to us a wealth of expertise in taking care of a large population of patients in a cost-effective way. Many of our specialists are already working with NHG, and we are delighted to have NHG as an integrated part of the Vanderbilt family," Sergent said.

"Vanderbilt's partnership with NHG is further evidence of our commitment to meet the total health care needs of the people of this region."

The joint venture also enhances Vanderbilt's ability to perform one of its three primary missions ‹ training tomorrow's physicians, Sergent said.

"We are equally excited about working with the exceptional physicians in NHG to broaden the primary care experience of our residents and students," he said. "In addition to being high-quality community physician role models for our students and residents, these NHG doctors bring invaluable experience in caring for a large population of people.

"Learning how to practice in a managed care environment will add an important component to our teaching programs," Sergent said.

The Vanderbilt/NHG physicians will treat patients at all five of NHG's current practice locations at MetroCenter, Cool Springs, Rivergate, Hickory Hollow and Hermitage.

"This joint venture is greatly enhanced due to the strong cultural and strategic alignment between the two partners," said Janet S. Meeks, president of Vanderbilt Integrated Providers. "The physicians within NHG have extremely positive and mature patient relationships. Their patients will now have ready access to Vanderbilt's specialized care while continuing to maintain their relationships with NHG physicians."

The joint venture is also one of the region's largest global capitation agreements between an insurer and a health care provider, Meeks said. Such an agreement puts the risk and responsibility for health care squarely at the feet of the care providers.

"This is truly a strategic alliance with a very important primary care group. This agreement could not have been made without the enthusiasm, commitment and responsiveness demonstrated by people throughout VUMC and NHG," Meeks said.