Struggling rural Tennessee hospitals to get restructuring help from state

A program has launched in Tennessee that will help struggling rural hospitals receive outside consulting so they can restructure, according to Nashville Public Radio.

The state program comes about a year after then-Gov. Bill Haslam approved the Tennessee Hospital Transformation Act of 2018, which took effect last July. According to the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development, the legislation calls for creating "transformation plans" for supporting "rural hospitals in assessing viability and identifying new delivery models, strategic partnerships and operational changes that enable the continuation of needed healthcare services in rural communities."

As part of the transformation act, the state will offer the services of consultants to select rural facilities.

"Hospitals are a vital part of the economic fabric of rural Tennessee," Tennessee Economic Development Commissioner Bob Rolfe said in a news release. "It's critically important that we ensure they remain a viable source of both quality jobs for residents and essential care for patients."

Tennessee has reportedly hired Chicago-based Navigant Consulting to develop restructuring plans to help hospitals be sustainable.

State officials told Nashville Public Radio they hope to provide consulting help to at least 10 hospitals in the first two years. The deadline for hospitals to apply for help is May 10.


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