(Not) playing politics

Medicaid expansion has been a major topic in Tennessee lately, and we are making every effort to learn more about Tennessee governor Bill Lee’s Medicaid block grant proposal.

Greg Duckett, our senior vice president and chief legal officer, met with the governor last week. TennCare’s chief financial officer spent two hours with our leadership team, answering questions and explaining how the program would work. Several of our key leaders attended the Medicaid block grant meeting in Jackson, and vice president of government affairs Keith Norman will attend the Memphis meeting.

We’re also learning more about how block grant funds can support innovative programs. This money could help support our robust cancer research efforts, because we’re studying new ways to care for cancer patients that could be more effective and more affordable.

We’re educating ourselves on this and other political issues, because they can affect access to health care. To be the best advocates for our patients, we must work with and support lawmakers — no matter their political affiliation.

Not only is our current leadership team doing this, some of our former longtime executives are, as well. Former vice president Jim Ainsworth, former chief administrative officer Bob Gordon and former chief financial officer Don Pounds continue to operate the Baptist Making Healthier Communities Political Action Committee (BMHCPAC). The BMHCPAC raises funds to support officeholders and candidates in Tennessee, Mississippi and Arkansas who understand the challenges hospitals are experiencing and the importance of quality health care in their communities.

The BMHCPAC has been very successful, thanks in large part to our team members’ support. If you have donated to the PAC, your contributions help ensure our lawmakers pay attention to and take action on the health care issues that affect us and our patients. Thank you for supporting this important cause.

For more information on the BMHCPAC, please email bmhcpac@gmail.com. If you have any questions for me, please email them to me, tweet me @jason_m_little or follow me on LinkedIn.

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