Lee announces $10M in grants for rural hospitals

Gov. Bill Lee welcomes delegates to a summit on economically distressed counties in Linden on Aug. 13, 2019. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

Gov. Bill Lee has announced $10 million in grants to help small and rural hospitals struggling due to the coronavirus pandemic. The grants will be capped at $500,000 per hospital to help cover financial losses due to a ban on elective procedures.

Here’s the release from the governor’s office:

NASHVILLE, Tenn. –  Today, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee announced the State of Tennessee will allocate $10 million in Small and Rural Hospital Readiness Grants to support hospitals that are facing financial strain due to the ongoing response to COVID-19.

“Small and rural hospitals are critical to fighting COVID-19 and these grants will help complement federal aid dollars to ensure hospitals can continue delivering care through this crisis,” said Gov. Lee. “These organizations not only provide care for existing needs but are also a key part of our efforts to build and maintain bed capacity during the expected surge of COVID-19 cases.” 

The funds, capped at $500,000 per hospital, will be allocated from the state’s FY20 COVID-19 response appropriation and distributed by the Department of Finance & Administration.

For participating hospitals, the grants will serve as a bridge over the coming weeks while elective procedures are suspended and new federal funds are still processing. Applications are live today and can be accessed here: https://www.tn.gov/ecd/rural-development/small-and-rural-hospital-readiness-grant.

Due to the continually developing nature of the pandemic, the application will be held open for a month or until funds are expended.

26 Responses to Lee announces $10M in grants for rural hospitals

  • Phil Lassiter says:

    People BEGGED the administration to do something about rural hospitals just a short time ago. No one will do anything but lap up the money though. Comptroller needs to make sure money goes to fight virus immediately and not into late payroll taxes and other issues these hospitals face due to mismanagement

  • Beatrice Shaw says:

    Expand Medicaid!!! Billions vs a little 10 million? where are the brains in these deals being made?????

  • Paul says:

    We’ve closed rural hospitals continually over the past decade or more during Republican rule in this state and nary a peep from the governor or legislature as far as action…..maybe a muttered “tut tut” once in a while. The locals without a hospital might be concerned, but in general the answer is “the market has spoken”. So now, here we are while the Trump pandemic grows and (no surprise), Trump pretty much says “you’re on your own” to the states and we suddenly have less capacity to absorb a surge and do the regular stuff, like, you know, heart attacks and cancer or whatever. Conservatives say “you can’t trust the government” and in this case, they are right, just not for the reason they thought it would be. Now it’s Trump casting us adrift.

    Likewise, we’ve turned down Medicaid expansion in the interest of “freedom” or some such thing while the government continues to reduce payment for Medicare and underprivileged health support activities, meaning our major hospitals have to absorb the cost in this not-so-healthy state we live in. And the Trump pandemic will see lots of folks losing private insurance, so it’s only going to get worse. More so, since the hospitals are suspending their money making activities such as elective surgeries. Those states that expanded Medicaid continue to get the benefits of that, while we pay taxes that goes to their health care.

    Whatever “new federal funds” the Governor is expecting will likely not cover the cost of this debacle and even if they do, our legislature is certainly capable of keeping us “free from federal tyranny” or something like that and will probably turn it down if they get a vote. One thing we’ve heard over and over from conservatives over the years is “private charity” will step up and cover the food, medical, and other costs for those who can’t afford them — that’s how “the market” should work in the ivory tower they call home at the CPAC conference or the Federalist Society. We’ll see how that works out for us all in this new Trump economy.

    • Stuart I. Anderson says:

      See what he’s done there? “Trump pandemic” as if the President was responsible for the pandemic when in fact it was Trump who was very early trying to limit, or at least slow, its introduction in the U.S. by cutting off flights from China where the pandemic began as liberals like Paul were shouting “xenophobia” “racism.” Now to the liberal mind it’s Trump who is responsible for the pandemic.

      Liberals want the government to subsidize as much economic activity as possible so liberals can control as much of our lives as possible through their infestation of the government no matter what party is in power. Whether its Public Radio and Television, the arts, AMTRAK, hopelessly uneconomic rural hospitals serving areas with declining population the liberal answer is ALWAYS government subsidies and the economically stultifying taxes or destructive debt that always follow that serve to reduce the standard of living for the vast majority of people.

      This economy was going along just fine until the weight of medical opinion and the liberal’s ceaseless screaming finally caused a reluctant Pres. Trump to shut virtually the entire economy down. OH HOW THE LIBERALS LOVED IT!!!! The entire country coming as close as we ever have living under government edict! Indeed, the few sparsely populated small states that have bravely resisted a complete shut-down because of conditions on the ground are the object of fury from the left such is their hatred of life outside of government command and control. As a result of the government induced economic coma which the liberals full-throatily supported we are heading into a recession. Trump is obviously looking for an excuse to bring us out of the coma and every time he moves in that direction, the left throws a tantrum that he will be responsible for genocide of the old and chronically ill – yet to the liberal mind it’s the “Trump economy.” Despite trillions of dollars of debt the federal government is sending the states, corporations and individuals while intending to send yet more it’s Trump who is “casting us adrift.” No matter how much, it’s never enough!

      This election season the left will shout “Trump pandemic” and “Trump economy” as they carry on their usual campaign of trying to fool all of the people all of the time. It remains the duty of the rest of us, whether through person to person advocacy and/or carefully targeted political contributions, to make sure they don’t succeed.

      • John says:

        What? Trump called it a hoax as late as March. Joe Biden had an op-ed about coronavirus in January while Republicans were still salivating over a likely Bernie Sanders nomination. The medical and economic ramifications are probably worse because Trump was spending his time trying to get Tea Partiers in South Carolina to vote for Bernie (total failure) instead of acting on Coronavirus (total failure). As Reagan’s Surgeon General C. Everett Loop said, “Early detection is the key.” Trump failed and continues to fail.

        • Stuart I. Anderson says:

          Oh John, what a rich imagination you have!!!! “Joe Biden had an op-ed about coronavirus in January. . . .” That dotty old man who is kept away from even the sympathetic press that favors his election, who often doesn’t know where he is or who his closest relatives are is giving opinions about a pandemic that has confounded medical science throughout the world. Riiiiight! As I recall, back in January your liberal friends in Washington were continuing to pursue their impeachment farce which succeeded in at least distracting everyone from the storm coming at us from the east.

          You’re going to have to vote against Trump in November, not that it will count for anything here in Tennessee, that’s for sure John. That means voting for Biden, a corrupt individual who is clearly mentally unable to carry on the duties of President. It will take all of your powers of imagination to delude yourself that you are actually doing something productive for yourself or this country by doing so.

      • MARLE says:

        Trump is not responsible for the Pandemic; he IS 100% responsible for the PANIC.

        • Eddie White says:

          That is 100 percent bull…

          • Eddie White says:

            Evidently Marle’s bizarre theory for everything Trump does is this internal hatred of China. Fair trade and everything else be damned….whatever you do President Trump, don’t raise tariffs on China…you must have a Chinese portfolio….

          • MARLE says:

            Go back and read transcripts of Navarro, Pompeo and Trump on the existential threat to democracy around the world. Then look at the irrational use of tariffs ( NOT the use but the IRRATIONAL policies of May ’19 and August ’19).

            There is an 100% interest in ginning up sentiment against China and ordering American companies to cease business there. (of course not for the “presidential pets” like Tim Cook of Apple or others who get waivers). Or he will be 1000% tariffs on categories of good. You wait and see if re-elected what he has in mind.

          • Eddie White says:

            I hope you are right and he is re-elected, and I hope more companies do close shop in China and move back home, particularly the pharmaceutical companies. If you want see who is “ginning up” the pandemic, try reading The New York Times, Washington Post, LA Times and see if you can see who is fanning the fires of the pandemic…

          • MARLE says:

            Yes, Eddie, his foes in the media have seen his Panic and raised him an Hysteria. They saw how un-intelligent the American public is and they glommed on in order to tank the economy. The Average IQ in the US is 98-102. It has been that way for generations but when you add Wuzzifaction to the mix you get a population in utter panic over the flu.

            There is no way this ever would have happened to the WW2 generation.

            Trump started the panic to get American sentiment riled up against the Chinese. The media took it to another level to put a bullet in the head of the economy Trump had already pummeled and knocked to the ground .

  • Beatrice Shaw says:

    You do have to admit that Trump dragged his feet and thousands have been dying because of it.

    • Stuart I. Anderson says:

      What your authoritarian proclivities see as foot dragging is the reluctance of a President who places a higher value on individual freedom than you do being reluctant to use the power of the government in order to deprive individuals of their liberties and to severe;y damage the economy to boot. The causal connection between the timing of Trump’s response and the number sickened and deceased is simply speculation for which there is no evidence outside the fevered minds of the political left.

      • MARLE says:

        What you saw was a President who hyped this virus At First when he thought he could use the Scary, New, Deadly virus to gin up sentiment against China. But the Panic he sought to sow took on a life of its own thanks to Fauci and Birx and he Lost Control. He tried to regain control by downplaying it Late Feb but the Panic Horse Had Escaped the Barn.

  • Eddie White says:

    Stuart, your analysis is correct, but we also have some far right nuts like Rep Massie in Kentucky ,and some other libertarian types who are contributing to the anti-Trump rhetoric, and are more interested in federal spending than saving the nation’s economy. I will send a contribution to Massie’s Republican primary opponent, Todd McMurtry, as maybe others will to get rid of Massie.

    • James White says:

      Rep Massie is the Best congressman there now so far. He wants congress to follow the constitution and they will not (they probably never read it).
      And he thinks spending 6 Trillion (most to bail out foreign banks) is not ‘saving the nation’s economy.’

      • Eddie White says:

        You obviously are not a small business owner. I would not say that Massie is unpatriotic, he just doesn’t give a damn about the citizens of our country….

  • Keith says:

    The closing of so many rural hospitals in Tennessee is the clear responsibility of the right wing of the Republican majority in our state legislature. You refused to expand Medicaid, and people’s lives are endangered. There is no clearer cause and effect than this disgusting act. Own it.

    • Beatrice Shaw says:

      …..And a high five double amen!!!

    • Stuart I. Anderson says:

      Indeed, “. . .the right-wing of the Republican majority. . . .” of which I am an enthusiastic supporter is always concerned with the long-term economic health of this state. That’s why we are a low tax state that has been so successful in keeping companies that are here as well as one of the leading destinations of companies that are fleeing the liberal governed dystopias around the country. As I recall, it was in keeping with this concern that the legislature decided that the near-term fools gold of expansion of Medicaid paled relative to the uncertainty of long-term funding of the expanded care. Thus, remembering the cost of the upheaval and law-suits that accompanied Bredesen’s successful attempt to throttle back on TennCare which was bankrupting this state the Republican majority decided to pass. Every Tennessee taxpayer should be glad that they did.

  • David Collins says:

    It’s good thing Tennessee is a low tax state because after the pandemic has ripped through this state, especially the rural areas who lost their hospitals because the Republican legislature refused to expand Medicaid, there won’t be many left to tax. The only reason the Republicans refused to expand Medicaid was because the federal money was coming through the Affordable Care Act and they just cannot bring themselves to admit that Obama (a black man for God’s sake!) had a good idea.

    • Stuart I. Anderson says:

      BING!!!! That’s a big three pointer for David Collins on the Liberal Race Bait Scoreboard. If you can race bait and it’s totally unrelated to the topic at hand you get three points. Race bait, when race is even tangentially related to the topic at hand is only worth two points. Liberals, how about an attaboy for David!

  • Phil Lassiter says:

    Are the perverts and cocaine addicts in the General Assembly going to have a say so over the money? Glen, Cade, David and Bill along with Iranian sidekick Lofti?

  • Phil Lassiter says:

    Public need to know. Governor needs to address the issue for public confidence

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