A new study showing a major increase in Tennessee babies born addicted to drugs has prompted the state Health Department to require hospitals to report that information. A health department working group found the number of babies born with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome, or NAS, has increased ten-fold over the past decade. NAS can result from a mother’s drug use, including alcohol and withdrawal drugs like methadone.
Henry County Medical Center officials have eliminated two jobs at their hospital-run nursing home, as part of a facility restructuring. The nursing home is in the process of closing down one wing because of a lack of patients. CEO Tom Gee says the number of patients at the nursing home has declined steadily in the past two years, with around 30 empty beds.
Henry County Medical Center turned a $287,000 profit in its 2011-2012 fiscal year. The Paris Post-Intelligencer reports that figure fell just short of the hospital’s goal of realizing a one percent profit. Still, it’s good news for hospital trustees. About half of U.S. hospitals are losing money. Hospital Administrator Tom Gee says it’s getting harder to turn a profit because of the sagging economy and the fact that fewer and fewer patients have medical insurance. He says about 20 percent of Henry County residents aren’t insured. The statewide average is 18 percent.