Nashville General Hospital Another Example of City Mismanagement


July 13, 2018 12:28PM

At this point it seems like saying the city mismanagement in Nashville, one of the worse run cities in the country, is the same as saying the sky is blue, but here we are again. The latest example is Nashville General Hospital, and this is not just a waste of tax dollars but also a total failure from the top down. At a time when the city doesn’t even have enough money to meet its budget, should we really be giving tens of millions of dollars per year to a failing hospital? Even former liberal darling Megan Barry realized what a money pit the hospital was, announcing she was going to end inpatient care before reversing course.

Nashville General Hospital isn’t successful because very few people actually go there, instead choosing better hospitals in the area. In fact, only about a third of beds are in use on an average day. What makes this situation even worse is the way the hospital uses the tax dollars they get, by padding the pockets of executives and PR firms while doing nothing to improve their service. Currently, the hospital is paying $150,000 per year to a former Nashville councilman for public relations, while at the same time paying a separate PR firm $120,000 per year for what appears to be the same exact services. I guess instead of trying to provide better service to the ill and indigent, they would rather make themselves look good in the media so that they can get even more taxpayer money.

Yet, the most offensive part of this whole situation is that the hospital continues to reward incompetence. The CEO of the hospital, who would almost certainly be fired in the private sector for the abysmal job he has done, just got a three-year extension making an astonishing $350,000 per year. This led to five board members resigning in protest and my friend David Plazas writing an excellent opinion piece in the Tennessean decrying the contract extension.

Nashville General is a complete waste of tax dollars. If we were really concerned about people in low-income neighborhoods, we would be better off giving the money to other hospitals that adequately serve Nashville residents instead of this failing enterprise. This hospital is an albatross around the neck of Nashville taxpayers, and there is no reason to keep funding it. Experts agree that the city’s other hospitals could absorb those who currently rely on Nashville General for their healthcare needs. We need to start holding city leaders accountable for their complete disregard for our tax dollars.