Nashville General to end inpatient care

Nashville (Tenn.) Mayor Megan Barry announced Thursday Nashville General Hospital will end all inpatient services and transition to an ambulatory surgical care center providing only outpatient services, the Tennessean reports.

Ms. Barry said her administration will submit a "substantial request" to The Metropolitan Council for funds to stabilize the hospital until the end of the year. She also said she plans to create an indigent care fund to pay the hospitalization costs for low-income patients at privately run hospitals, the report states.

Officials cited competition and skyrocketing costs as reasons for the facility's transition.

The mayor's announcement regarding the hospital reportedly came as a surprise to many hospital employees and Nashville residents, according to the report.

The announcement also followed reports Nashville-based HCA Healthcare signed a partnership agreement to train students from Nashville-based Meharry Medical College at one of its hospitals in Tennessee. Students previously undertook clinical training at Nashville General.

The transition in services must still garner approval from The Metropolitan Council, the Nashville Hospital Authority and Meharry Medical College, a spokesperson from Nashville General told the Tennessean.

"We anticipated the need for Meharry Medical College to explore alternative options for its residency and teaching program. The Hospital Authority Board of Trustees and the Nashville General Hospital leadership team have been working on a long-term strategic plan to strengthen our facility for the future. To allow Nashville General to maintain core services within the City's $35 million subsidy, key components of this plan included service line changes that would affect Meharry's teaching programs. As a result, leadership from both Nashville General Hospital and Meharry Medical College have been exploring other collaborations that will allow us to diversify and expand the ways we care for underserved populations," Jan Brandes, MD, chair of the hospital authority board of trustees for Nashville General Hospital told Becker's Hospital Review via email Nov. 13.

"We wish Meharry the best in its new partnership. ... We look forward to collaborating with the mayor's office and metro council to bring proposals for the future of Nashville General Hospital together and ensure that all of our city's residents — regardless of socioeconomic status — have access to the compassionate care and support they need and deserve," Dr. Brandes added.

Editor's note: This article was updated at 11:30 a.m. Nov. 13 to include a statement from Nashville General Hospital.

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