Meharry/Nashville General’s Plan for Treating City’s Poorest Patients

Nashville General Hospital

NASHVILLE, TN March 5, 2019 — Leaders from Nashville’s health care, business, political and religious communities—The Indigent Care Stakeholder Work Team—unveiled their vision for a new, collaborative safety net system of health care for Nashville’s most vulnerable citizens. The report culminates a 14-month-long process during which key stakeholders in indigent care reimagined how the city of Nashville cares for its uninsured and underinsured residents and places the needs of patients at center.

“This is a historic day for the city of Nashville, especially for the most vulnerable among us,” said Dr. James E.K. Hildreth, president and CEO of Meharry Medical College. “Today we unveil a shared vision that for the first time involves Nashville’s entire health care community in the care of the underserved. At the center of the system is the patient, who will become the focus of our renewed energy, effort and responsibility. As a city today, we resolve to leave no one behind.”

The Stakeholder Work Team was convened by Dr. Hildreth in late 2017 in response to concerns over a proposal to close inpatient care at Nashville General Hospital. Representatives of Nashville General Hospital, Nashville’s private hospital systems, the City Council, and community and church leaders were invited to participate in the group. By design, each team member approached indigent care from a unique perspective, yet all shared the same goal: to deliver the best possible care to those in Nashville who need it most.

For 14 months, the Stakeholder Work Team researched best practices for indigent care throughout the U.S.; studied funding models in other cities; heard input from local, regional and national experts on care delivery; and held listening sessions to better understand the real concerns of the community.

“As a Stakeholder Work Team, we believe that Nashville must become a healthy city for all who live and work here, regardless of zip code or ability to pay,” said Richard Manson, a member of the Stakeholder Work Team and the Nashville General Hospital Authority. “We believe the patient must be the priority and center of that care. With this new vision, the city of Nashville is now on our way to providing high quality, accessible health care to those most in need.”

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