Vanderbilt extends reach
Agreement with three hospitals to eliminate overlapping programs, services
Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, is expanding its serviceline affiliations with three hospitals outside of Nashville, two south of the city and one to the north. The hospitals are 241-bed Maury Regional Medical Center, Columbia; 81-bed NorthCrest Medical Center, Springfield; and 184-bed Williamson Medical Center, Franklin. Two of the three hospitals already had service-line relationships with Vanderbilt, and all three will remain independent under the affiliation agreement, according to a news release.
The agreement provides a structure for the hospitals to form collaborations in new programs and services and the ability to eliminate overlapping and competing projects, according to the release. Maury Regional will draw on Vanderbilt’s clinical expertise and physician recruitment strengths, bolstering a partnership that includes the Vanderbilt HeartColumbia (Tenn.) physician practice, diagnostic imaging services in Spring Hill, Tenn., inpatient neonatal intensive care and cardiac surgery services, according to the release.
Williamson Medical Center already hosts surgeries for Vanderbilt physicians who work in Williamson County and the two hospitals collaborate on some service lines, the release states. NorthCrest will use the affiliation to expand its resources to improve care while remaining costeffective. Developments within healthcare delivery and state and national healthcare policy are driving the formation of regional partnerships between community hospitals and academic medical centers, according to Dr. Jeff Balser, Vanderbilt University’s vice chancellor for health affairs and dean of the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.
The two academic medical centers in Kentucky are pursuing different forms of collaboration with community hospital systems there, citing the same reasons as Balser.
Dr. C. Wright Pinson, vice chancellor for health affairs and CEO of Vanderbilt Health System, said Vanderbilt’s aim is to bring secondary and some tertiary care into these community hospitals and conserve space at Vanderbilt’s Nashville campus for the most complex cases.
Bringing its strengths in physician recruiting and training to staff clinical programs at these sites also is what the patient wants— the Vanderbilt brand, but closer to home, Pinson said.