(Mint Images/Getty Images)

Shelby County accepts opioid settlement

BY: - January 19, 2022

The Shelby County Commission voted to accept $20 million as a partial settlement as part of a statewide effort to crack down on the opioid epidemic.  In March 2021, Memphis city officials filed a federal lawsuit against a group of opioid manufacturers and distributors for their role in fueling the opioid influx that has significantly […]

The State of Tennessee spent $11 million on messaging before firing Dr. Michelle Fiscus for spreading the message approved by Gov. Lee's office. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Judge rules fired Tennessee vaccine official Dr. Michelle Fiscus cannot pursue monetary damages

BY: - January 19, 2022

A federal judge has ruled that former Tennessee vaccination chief Dr. Michelle Fiscus cannot pursue claims for monetary damages against the state’s top two Department of Health officials after her controversial firing last summer — but the remainder of her lawsuit seeking a ‘name-clearing hearing’ and a finding that the state violated her constitutional rights […]

(Photo: Getty Images)

$400 million in American Rescue Plan funds to support those with disabilities 

BY: - January 17, 2022

Thanks to American Rescue Plan funds, more Tennesseans with disabilities will hopefully be getting services they need, aimed at supporting them in their homes and communities. One state program, Enabling Technology, introduces gadgets to lessen dependence on in-home helpers.  In November, TennCare, Medicaid for low-income Tennesseeans, and the state’s Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities […]

Shelby County Commission. (Photo: Shelby County Government)

Shelby County add funds to target opioid addiction

BY: - January 10, 2022

The Shelby County Commission voted Monday to add $168,700 to its operating budget to combat the county’s opioid epidemic. Shelby County previously received $506,000 from the Tennessee Department of Health for the period of Sept 1, 2021 to Aug. 31, 2022 through an effort to target high-impact areas across the state. Today’s vote amended the […]

Should the drug-pricing provisions survive, experts say the proposed set of policy changes would make a start toward price reductions, though the effort won’t entirely solve the drug-pricing crisis. (Getty Images)

Prescription drug price reform on the line in Biden’s big social spending bill

BY: - December 18, 2021

WASHINGTON — Among the most potentially transformational changes in the Democrats’ massive social and climate bill pending in the Senate are a set of long-sought changes intended to tamp down the fast-rising cost of prescription drugs. The $2 trillion spending package would ensure Americans don’t pay more than $35 when they pick up a new […]

Rendering of proposed Vanderbilt Hospital Rutherford. (Photo: Twitter)

State approves new Vanderbilt hospital in Rutherford County

BY: - December 15, 2021

Members of a state health agency panel on Wednesday approved plans by Vanderbilt University Medical Center to build a new $144 million hospital in Rutherford County over strong objections from competing hospitals already serving patients in the fast-growing Middle Tennessee suburbs. It is Vanderbilt’s second attempt to gain state permission — in the form of […]

Rendering of proposed Vanderbilt Hospital Rutherford. (Photo: Twitter)

Vanderbilt hits snag over plans build a hospital in Rutherford County

BY: - December 14, 2021

A plan by Vanderbilt University Medical Center to expand its Rutherford County footprint with a new 42-bed, $144 million hospital is once again facing opposition from major hospitals already serving patients in the fast-growing region. Officials with Williamson Medical Center, TriStar Stonecrest Medical Center and Ascension St. Thomas, in formal opposition notices filed with state […]

Eighty percent of drug overdose deaths in Tennessee during 2020 came from prescription and synthetic opioids.(Photo: Mint

Tennessee counties file suit against McKinsey consulting firm over its role in the opioid crisis

BY: - December 9, 2021

In a coordinated legal strategy, seven counties in east Tennessee and five counties plus one city in west Tennessee have filed separate lawsuits against consulting firm McKinsey & Co. over its involvement in the opioid crisis. A third federal lawsuit is expected shortly from a group of counties in Middle Tennessee, according to Greeneville, Tenn. […]

Rep. John Ragan, R-Oak Ridge, center, with Sen. Kerry Roberts, R-Springfield, at right. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Facing GOP pressure, Tennessee medical board votes to take down COVID misinformation policy

BY: - December 7, 2021

The Tennessee Board of Medical Examiners voted Tuesday to delete from a government website the text of a policy that warns doctors they could face discipline for spreading COVID misinformation — but the policy itself remains in effect.  In a 30-minute emergency meeting on Tuesday — called in response to a demand from Rep. John […]

Tennessee State Capitol (Photo: John Partipilo)

Medical board meets to review COVID misinformation policy

BY: - December 6, 2021

The state’s doctor discipline board has called a special meeting on Tuesday to discuss their policy on holding physicians accountable for spreading COVID misinformation, after Republican lawmakers took action to curb the board’s powers to do so in late October. The 12-member Tennessee Board of Medical Examiners in September enacted a policy that warns “physicians […]

Scales of justice with back-light on wood table.

Chattanooga’s largest hospital system sues TennCare over payment practices

BY: - November 30, 2021

Chattanooga’s largest hospital has filed suit against TennCare over claims it is underpaying some hospitals for emergency care  — the latest in a series of legal actions by Erlanger Health System alleging Tennessee officials are “purposely redistributing money from hospitals who treat Tennessee’s neediest citizens” to benefit insurance companies. It is the third lawsuit filed […]

Xtend Healthcare in Hendersonville, had no experience with contact tracing when it scored its first state contract for $20 million. (Photo: John Partipilo)

No-bid contract earns company $55 million from state for contact tracing

BY: - November 23, 2021

In the early summer of 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic overwhelmed even the nation’s most robust public health programs, Tennessee became one of a handful of states that chose to outsource contact tracing to a private vendor. In June 2020, Hendersonville-based Xtend Healthcare, a for-profit medical billing firm without prior experience in infectious disease, inked […]