Tennessee hospital CEO focuses on staff retention, denies hospital is for sale

Management at troubled Maryville, Tenn.-based Blount Memorial Hospital is working on staff incentives to help retain a robust permanent workforce, the hospital's CEO said in an update to local officials, according to a Jan. 26 report from The Daily Times.

CEO Harold Naramore, MD, also denied speculation the hospital may be up for sale.

Speaking to elected officials in Alcoa, the need for staff retention is paramount because of skyrocketing costs of contract labor, Dr. Naramore said. He provided no details on potential incentives for employees, according to the report.

In November, Blount's CFO, Jonathan Smith, said permanent staff would not get overtime and bonuses in 2023 in a bid to cut costs. The hospital group is set to lose approximately $70 million in 2022.

There have been discussions to turn the hospital into a nonprofit as opposed to a government-run system. This has led to speculation it may be up for sale.

Dr. Naramore also discussed the potential $22.5 million sale of the hospital's Springbrook property to real estate group Montecito Medical. That talk has cooled in recent months, Dr. Naramore said in November, because of concerns Montecito has about the status of the hospital group.

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