Nashville Hospital Hopes to Continue Inmate Health Care

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Officials at Nashville General Hospital hope to cement a deal with First Medical Management, the Tennessee Department of Correction’s health care representative, that would allow the hospital to continue providing care to state prisoners.

The hospital and First Medical were awarded the current deal by the corrections department, but have been operating thus far on a month-to-month agreement. The agreement will be extended through the end of June, by which time hospital officials are optimistic that a formal contract will be finalized.

If the contract is finalized, it will keep the hospital from losing approximately $5 million in annual revenues that it earns from prison care.

Nashville General officials hope to negotiate a better deal with First Medical than the one they held with the Department of Correction’s former health care representative. The previous contract, expired as of January 1, ended up costing the hospital money, since it could not cover direct operational costs, says a hospital spokesman.

In order to recoup its losses, Nashville General was forced to raise prices, causing First Medical to consider sending state prisoners to HCA Corp. instead.

Officials from Nashville General and First Medical are still discussing final bargaining points, including operational costs and the electronic transmission of the hospital’s patient records to First Medical.

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