Sunday, September 23, 2012

Finally, it is OK to admit General Hospital is a loser.

I about fell out of my chair this morning when I read Gail Kerr's Tennessean article, It's way past time for change at Nashville General. I have read Gail Kerr for many years and she usually follow the liberal line of the Tennessean denouncing any government economizing as an attack on the poor, or at least that is my impression. I would bet that if someone searched the archives they could find Gail Kerr extolling the virtues of General. Anyway, her comments are welcome, if a little late.

As long as I have been paying attention, Nashville General has been a massive drain on the budget of Metro and a hospital no one wanted to go to. When it merged with Meharry twenty years ago, that was going to solve the financial woes of the hospital, but of course it didn't.  As Gail points out, poor people no longer have to go to the charity hospital, they can use Tenncare and go to the hospital of their choice. It is past time to close General hospital. Shut er' down.

For an understanding of the financial drain that is General hospital and the reason their is a lack of political will to do anything about it, read Gail Kerr's article.

Gail Kerr: It's way past time for change at Nashville General 

Nashville General Hospital had 229 licensed patient beds when it merged with Meharry Medical College in 1994. An average of 85 of them were filled most days. Not good.

Today? It’s worse. General has 150 licensed beds and an average daily patient census of only 46. It is time to have the tough conversation everyone’s avoided for decades: Should Nashville be in the hospital business? (link)

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