UMMC affiliates with Vanderbilt to share programs, cut costs

The University of Mississippi Medical Center announced Monday that it will officially affiliate with Vanderbilt University Medical Center, a move that UMMC said would improve health care quality at both institutions while allowing them to cut costs. “(Vanderbilt) and UMMC share the common goal of improving the health of the populations we serve through outstanding patient care, biomedical research and teaching,” said Dr. Charles O’Mara, associate vice chancellor for clinical affairs at UMMC. “As the leading academic medical centers in our respective adjoining states, we also face many of the same or similar opportunities and challenges in today’s changing health care landscape. Fortunately, both institutions currently enjoy an upward trajectory on many fronts and have strengths that nicely complement one another.” According to a press release from UMMC, the affiliation will allow the two institutions to share new clinical programs and services and provide a pathway for UMMC and Vanderbilt to formally collaborate on programs, research and, potentially, medical training through their schools. Unlike a merger, in which one hospital system buys another, an affiliation is a looser agreement, allowing each hospital system to remain independently owned while sharing some costs and making collaboration on projects and services easier.