Nashville safety-net hospital seeks $20M increase to annual subsidy

Nashville (Tenn.) General Hospital officials asked for a $20 million increase to the safety-net hospital's subsidy for the 2017-18 fiscal year during a meeting with Nashville Mayor Megan Barry on Friday, according to The Tennessean.

The Metropolitan Hospital Authority, which operates Nashville General, receives a subsidy of $35 million each year from the Metro Council, the legislative authority of the Metropolitan Government of Nashville. However, Nashville General has needed supplemental funds to stay afloat for the past two years.

In late 2016, the Metropolitan Hospital Authority's board requested a $16 million funding infusion, which was approved by the Metro Council in February. The hospital requested and was granted $10 million in supplemental funding in February 2015.

With the newly requested $20 million increase, Nashville General's annual subsidy would total about $55 million. At the meeting with the mayor on Friday, Jan Brandes, MD, chairwoman of the Metropolitan Hospital Authority, said the increased subsidy is an accurate reflection of what it will take to operate Nashville General. 

"While our budget ask of approximately $55 million appears to be significantly increased, in reality, by the time we took the $35 million subsidy from last year and added the $16 million supplement to it, we're at $49 million," said Dr. Brandes, according to the report.

Mayor Berry, who conducted several budget hearings last week, will release an operating budget proposal for the 2017-18 fiscal year later this spring, according to the report.

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