3 systems would split care for Nashville's uninsured under new plan

Alyssa Rege - Print  | 

A new proposal calls for three Nashville, Tenn.-based health systems to share responsibility for caring for uninsured patients, which would help protect Nashville General Hospital from the threat of closure, the Tennessean reports.

Five things to know:

1. A group of stakeholders, including those from Meharry Medical College, Nashville General and the community, unveiled a proposal March 5 that would transform the way care is provided to the city's poorest residents.

2. Under the proposal, Meharry Medical College would create a new care management program called BetterHealth Nashville to oversee the treatment of uninsured patients across the city. While most treatment would still be performed at Nashville General, the city's only safety-net hospital, patients with more complex needs would visit other area hospitals operated by Vanderbilt or TriStar Health. BetterHealth Nashville would then pay for patients' treatment.

3. The plan would effectively lessen the burden of care currently placed on Nashville General, which treats an outsized share of lower-income patients. Approximately 15 percent of the city's residents, or 100,000 people, are uninsured or underinsured, according to the report.

4. The plan requires a yet-to-be-determined source of funding and hinges on larger hospital systems committing to treating patients, officials said. City hospitals already spend nearly $150 million per year to treat uninsured patients. Other funding options also include a new tax, according to the report.

5. Vanderbilt, TriStar Health and Nashville General have all reportedly expressed interest in the proposal, the report states.

To access the full report, click here.

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