Blount Memorial could switch to nonprofit status

Troubled Maryville, Tenn.-based Blount Memorial Hospital is considering a move from a government-owned entity to an independent nonprofit, the Daily Times reported Dec. 13.

The hospital, which has been the subject of monthslong heated debate in eastern Tennessee about 20 miles south of Knoxville, has been losing money for multiple years since at least 2013 and is on course to lose approximately $70 million this year, according to public statements from Jonathan Smith, CFO.

To try to mitigate such losses, the hospital was planning to sell its Springbrook location in Alcoa, but that possible $22.25 million deal has cooled, hospital CEO Harold Naramore has said, amid concerns from the potential buyer — Montecito Medical — about its reputation if it were to go ahead with the purchase.

Any possible move to a nonprofit status for the hospital, which could take several months at least, was described as a “long, hard slog,” by Blount County chief administrative officer Randy Vineyard, the report said.

Blount County commissioners are also considering a move Dec. 15 to change procedures on how hospital leadership is nominated, according to a WBIR report.

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