Reflections of UPA
Physicians prior to the 1990's were independently responsible for their
own contract negotiations with the insurance carriers while balancing
valuable time with their patient care. This pressed providers with additional
burden to approach the carriers for fee schedules and reimbursement negotiations.
Until fully credentialed with the multiple insurance carriers, they were
not paid for their services. During this same time at
UT Medical Center, physicians and medical senior leaders began discussing how to more effectively
manage the contracts.
The creation of University Physicians’ Association, (UPA) in 1995
became the solution, allowing physicians to meet and contract with the
managed care organizations as one alliance. The new physician led association
provided their members with contract negotiations which were beneficial
to the insurance carriers under one signature for all UPA physician members
and broadened the specialty services into the insurance networks that
was beneficial to the patient population. As an additional benefit and
courtesy to the members, UPA provided administrative support for the coordination
of the carriers’ application process and worked with the provider
offices and the medical staff office for privilege verifications. While
members moved through the UPA committee process, they were simultaneously
moving through the full credentialing process with each of the carriers.
This was a massive process that became very successful for physicians.
The UPA began with 231 physician shareholders, three administrative staff
members and six managed care organization contracts that included BCBS,
Bowater, Initial Group, Preferred Health Partnership, Tennessee Health
Partnership and UnitedHealthcare.
UPA Initial Leadership:
Trent Nichols, MD, President
C.E. Bilbrey, CEO
David Hall, Executive Director
Kim Friar, Provider Relations Director
John W. Lacey, III, MD, Medical Director
UPA FOUNDING Board Members:
Trent Nichols, MD, President (General Internal Medicine)
John W. Lacey, III, MD, Medical Director (General Internal Medicine)
Janet Purkey, MD (General Internal Medicine)
Robert Elder, MD (General OB-GYN)
Daniel Cox, MD (Family Medicine)
Larry Davis, MD (Family Medicine)
Ann Stuart, MD (Family Medicine)
Jack Gotcher, MD (Dentistry)
Larry Rodgers, MD (General Pediatrics)
Patricia Mohr, MD (General Pediatrics)
Mark Gaylord, MD (Medical & Pediatric Specialties)
J. Russ Langdon, MD (Hospital Based, Anesthesiology)
Steve Morris, MD (Hospital Based, Anesthesiology)
James Cox, MD (Surgical Specialties, Cardiology)
Mark D. Anderson, MD (Surgical Specialties, Gastroenterology)
William Horton, MD (Surgical Specialties, Otolaryngology)
John Neff, MD (Medical Specialties, Pathology)
What began as a need to secure the clinical practice 25 years ago, remains
the same today.
The healthcare industry continues to bring new challenges whereas UPA was
designed to adapt to these unforeseen circumstances. Along the years,
UPA has supported growth for our clinicians to enable more services with
success and benefit to our region.
We are unique and UPA’s reputation remains solid. We are physician
established and physician led. Our support team of individuals choose
to make a difference. We are not here by chance. It’s because of
the many hands that work together every single day that make up UPA’s
family and as we celebrate UPA’s 25 years of awesome in 2020, we
believe, our best is yet to come.