Modern Healthcare - - REGIONAL NEWS -

JOHN­SON CITY, Tenn.— Moun­tain States Health Al­liance, which op­er­ates 12 hos­pi­tals in north­east Ten­nessee and south­west Vir­ginia, will join Van­der­bilt Univer­sity Med­i­cal Cen­ter’s net­work of af­fil­i­ated hos­pi­tals. As part of the af­fil­i­a­tion, the two or­ga­ni­za­tions will col­lab­o­rate on physi­cian re­cruit­ment, clin­i­cal tri­als and med­i­cal re­search, share best prac­tices in ac­count­able care and ev­i­dence-based care mod­els, and work di­rectly with pay­ers. “All of us want to re­main in­de­pen­dent,” said Clem Wilkes, Moun­tain State’s board chair­man. “It’s a way that hos­pi­tals can con­tinue to ex­ist on their own, but ben­e­fit from the ef­fi­cien­cies and scope of ser­vices that an­other or­ga­ni­za­tion can pro­vide.” Van­der­bilt Univer­sity Med­i­cal Cen­ter, a 909-bed aca­demic med­i­cal cen­ter in Nashville, most re­cently signed an af­fil­i­a­tion agree­ment in Jan­uary with West Ten­nessee Health­care, a pub­lic health sys­tem. “Our af­fil­i­a­tion with Moun­tain States Health Al­liance cre­ates greater op­por­tu­nity for both in­sti­tu­tions to ful­fill im­por­tant ob­jec­tives for those we serve, form­ing the frame­work for Van­der­bilt to col­lab­o­rate with like-minded col­leagues to bring pa­tients greater ac­cess to a di­verse ar­ray of clin­i­cal and re­search ini­tia­tives,” Dr. C. Wright Pin­son, deputy vice chan­cel­lor for health

af­fairs at Van­der­bilt Univer­sity and CEO of the Van­der­bilt Health Sys­tem, said in a news re­lease. A gov­ern­ing board com­posed of equal rep­re­sen­ta­tion for both or­ga­ni­za­tions will be es­tab­lished. In ad­di­tion, the af­fil­i­a­tion does not have any fi­nan­cial terms. Pin­son said later in an in­ter­view that the Van­der­bilt Health Af­fil­i­ated Net­work will likely in­clude af­fil­i­a­tions with out-of-state hos­pi­tals in the fu­ture. The net­work now has about 30 hos­pi­tals. — Jaimy Lee MONT­GOMERY, Ala.— The Alabama Leg­is­la­ture passed a sweep­ing re­vi­sion to Med­i­caid that re­places the way the pro­gram de­liv­ers and pays for care with re­gional man­aged-care op­er­a­tors. Un­der the leg­is­la­tion passed last week, the Alabama Med­i­caid Agency will no longer bear fi­nan­cial risks but will in­stead as­sume the role of con­tract ad­min­is­tra­tor. Sav­ings of $50 mil­lion to $75 mil­lion over five years and fu­ture cost con­tain­ment is ex­pected. Pri­vately owned Re­gional Care Or­ga­ni­za­tions won’t deal di­rectly with pa­tients, but will con­tract di­rectly with doc­tors to pro­vide care. The or­ga­ni­za­tions will be re­quired to im­prove the qual­ity of care and pro­vide bet­ter ac­cess to ser­vices. If they’re suc­cess­ful, the agen­cies will re­al­ize prof­its. No cur­rent ser­vices will be elim­i­nated. Nurs­ing home pa­tients, den­tal, men­tal health and phar­macy pro­grams will not be af­fected un­til 2016. — As­so­ci­ated Press

John­son City Med­i­cal Cen­ter is among Moun­tain States’ 12 hos­pi­tals, which will join Van­der­bilt’s net­work.

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