September 26, 1997

Vanderbilt Medical Group to assume control of TVC

Vanderbilt Medical Group to assume control of TVC

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Dr. Harry Jacobson, Interim Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs, addresses the VUMC faculty during the fall meeting. (Photo by Donna Marie Jones)

According to plans announced by institution leadership at last week's Fall Faculty Meeting, the Vanderbilt Medical Group will eventually assume control of The Vanderbilt Clinic.

The multi-specialty group physician practice ‹ the state's largest and one of the largest in the Southeast ‹ will take over complete administrative and operational responsibilities of the clinic from Vanderbilt University Hospital.

Placing Vanderbilt University Medical Center's outpatient clinic and its services under the direct control of the VMG is an operational move that makes sense at this time, said Dr. Harry R. Jacobson, Interim Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs.

"As it stands now, the physicians are practicing in the clinic, but don't run it. They should run it," he said.

Dr. John S. Sergent, chief medical officer of the VMG, agrees, adding that the move is the culmination of a long-term plan for operating the clinics.

"This will empower the physicians to manage their own clinics and allow a greater number of people to be involved in the direction of The Vanderbilt Clinic."

During the course of the past year, an analysis was done to determine the exact costs associated with running TVC and each clinical department. Armed with that data, officials began the process of designing a detailed plan for the transition of TVC to the VMG.

According to Jacobson, shifting operational control of TVC from the hospital to the VMG will benefit member physicians by creating a more streamlined entity in this climate of increased integration of managed care.

"As the VMG leadership takes over running the clinics, they will find new ways for each clinical department to become more efficient and reduce costs, which will boost their financial performance," Jacobson said.

In addition to making economic sense, the move will also help bolster teamwork among the VMG's nearly 600 member-physicians, which will ultimately benefit patients.

"This is much broader than just the financial implications," Sergent said. "This transition will allow VMG physicians to truly run their own practices."

The shifting of leadership of TVC to the VMG was one of many highlights of last week's Fall Faculty Meeting, where a large group of faculty and staff members from across the medical center gathered in Light Hall to be updated on various aspects of VUMC operations, ranging from Medical School admissions to the institution's business plan in managed care contracting.

Other projects or programs identified as priorities for the next year include:

€ Completing negotiations with the Internal Revenue Service regarding the status of physicians as employees rather than independent contractors;

€ Implementing certain initiatives from the Strategic Plan for the Academic Enterprise;

€ Developing an incentive program not only for VUMC's clinical programs but also for research and education.