Nashville safety-net hospital secures $16M in emergency funds

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Nashville (Tenn.) General Hospital will receive emergency funds to stay afloat for the second year in a row, 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 in late 2016 to increase the emergency funding request to $16 million.

On Tuesday, the Metro Council unanimously approved the funding infusion for the hospital.

This is the second consecutive year Nashville General has needed supplemental funding. The hospital requested and was granted $10 million in emergency funding last February to stabilize operations and address deficiencies identified in a 2015 Joint Commission report.

Although council members expressed support for Nashville General's mission on Tuesday, some are concerned about the hospital's persistent need for supplemental financial support.

"I think our operation of a public hospital is one of those critical functions as a city, but I think it's unusual that we continue to have to offer emergency supplementals of this scale," said Councilman Freedie O'Connel, according to The Tennessean.

Of the $16 million in additional funds approved for Nashville General, the hospital authority will only receive $2 million immediately. Another $10.5 million will be provided to the hospital based on need on a month-by-month basis. The remaining $3.5 million will be set aside as contingency funds, according to the report.

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