Who’s Paying For More Patients At Nashville’s Safety-Net Hospital?

Nashville Hospital Authority CEO Jason Boyd (center) gives a tour of Metro General on Monday to Council members Sheri Weiner(left) and Burkley Allen (right).

Nashville Hospital Authority CEO Jason Boyd (center) gives a tour of Metro General on Monday to Council members Sheri Weiner(left) and Burkley Allen (right).

More and more people are going to Metro’s General Hospital to get care they can’t pay for.  The facility receives tens of millions of dollars from Nashville’s taxpayers.  And the man in charge says it’s not financially sustainable.

Metro General is subsidized for more than $30 million a year – an amount that’s shrunk substantially since the recession started.  Still, the mayor’s office is looking at selling off a couple facilities outside the main hospital – the Bordeaux nursing home and Knowles assisted-living facility.

Interim CEO Jason Boyd says emergency room visits keep going up, and a lot of that treatment the hospital will never get paid for.  Boyd doesn’t expect a lot to change in the budget the mayor is set to propose Tuesday.

But Boyd is hoping for a breakthrough at the state level.  More federal dollars could fund care for poor people under the new healthcare overhaul, but the governor put that plan on hold last month.  Boyd thinks something will have to budge, saying Metro General is not the only hospital that depends on it.


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