Nashville safety-net hospital needs $16M infusion after collections fall short

Nashville (Tenn.) General Hospital's emergency funding request has grown to $16 million, up from $10 million in November, 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. In November, the hospital authority estimated it would need about $10 million in supplemental funds for the 2016-17 fiscal year to shore up its finances.

With expected collections from insurance companies falling $6 million short, the Metropolitan Hospital Authority's board of directors voted last week to increase the emergency funding request to $16 million, according to the report.

Metro Finance Director Talia Lomax-O'dneal told The Tennessean it is her understanding that Nashville General submitted the $6 million in bills to insurers late, which prompted the payers to withhold payment.

In addition to lower-than-expected collections, expense overruns and a delay in the 340B Drug Pricing Program prompted Nashville General to increase its supplemental payment request. 

Regarding the funding request, Nashville General CEO Joseph Webb, DSc, told The Tennessean, "The decision to request the $16 million was the result of careful evaluation by our management team and the hospital authority board of directors. The primary focus was geared towards Nashville General's operations, cash flow projections and uncertainties in the healthcare industry."

This isn't the first time Nashville General has asked for emergency funding. The hospital requested and was granted $10 million in supplemental funding last February to stabilize operations and address deficiencies identified in a 2015 Joint Commission report.

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