August 22, 1997

VUMC adds 250,000 covered lives to managed care rolls

VUMC adds 250,000 covered lives to managed care rolls

Vanderbilt University Medical Center has agreed to terms on full service contracts with three major managed care organizations representing nearly 250,000 covered lives.

The contracts ‹ all consummated within weeks of each other ‹ include the complete range of managed care products offered by United Health Care (110,000 members), Aetna/USHealthcare (72,000 members) and Prudential Health Care (66,000 members).

"These agreements greatly expand the number of patients who will be able to take advantage of the high quality, unique health care services available at VUMC," said Dr. Harry R. Jacobson, Interim Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs. "Nearly 250,000 Middle Tennesseans now have full access to VUMC. It is now up to us ‹ our physicians, nurses, hospital and clinical staff ‹ to make it so attractive at VUMC that prospective patients want to come here.

"We must remember that we are not the exclusive health care provider available for their lives," Jacobson said.

The fact that all three managed care organizations signed on for full-service contracts is particularly noteworthy, said Dr. James K. Geraughty, associate vice chancellor for Health Affairs.

"The signings are evidence that word is getting out about Vanderbilt's quality and full spectrum of services. As the health plan providers in the region become more aware of this, more opportunities like this will arise," he said. "The efforts to more aggressively market the medical center and its people during the past year are showing success."

The contract signings represent the culmination of several months of negotiations involving VUMC's managed care contracting team, which includes representatives from Vanderbilt Medical Group, Vanderbilt University Hospital and Vanderbilt Health Services.

"The entire process involved close cooperation among everyone involved," said Dr. John S. Sergent, professor of Medicine and director of the VMG. "It really shows the importance of unity of purpose in this rapidly changing marketplace."

Negotiations on the three large contracts have been ongoing for some time, and involved input and cooperation from numerous areas of the medical center.

"The consummation of these agreements was a total team effort," said Janet S. Meeks, director of managed care and network integration services. "The contracting team takes great pride in marketing Vanderbilt's clinical excellence to managed care organizations and their members.

"Patients will be the ultimate beneficiaries of these contracts, as they will have greater opportunities to have their health care needs met by Vanderbilt."