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By Chris Gregory, Managing Editor

The chief executive officer of Trousdale Medical Center spoke on facility improvements, services offered and the future of the facility during Tuesday’s Chamber of Commerce meeting.

Mike Herman said 2019 was “a very good for the hospital” in that roughly half of the building has undergone renovations, including a new roof, new HVAC system, new flooring and ceilings.

“We have well over $600,000 invested in the facility in the last year,” Herman said.

Chris Gregory / Hartsville Vidette
Trousdale Medical Center CEO Mike Herman addresses the audience at Tuesday’s Chamber of Commerce meeting.

Herman noted the challenges faced by Trousdale Medical Center and other rural hospitals. According to Herman, Tennessee ranks No. 2 nationally in the number of hospital closures.

“Tennessee is struggling with rural health care right now,” he said. “Our legislature chose not to expand Medicaid, and that gets into a political conversation, but funding was limited for rural health care because of that.”

Other challenges Herman addressed were payer reimbursement from Medicare and Medicare Advantage plans, as well as physician recruitment and safety/security planning.

He said Trousdale is “financially viable” and noted that 2020 looked to be a promising year for the hospital.

The hospital has created a three-to-five year strategic plan for continued investment in services, equipment and upgrades. TMC does not currently plan on resuming minor operations, such as colonoscopies, at the facility but hopes to be able to do so as demand warrants.

Asked what percentage of hospital runs come to TMC against hospitals outside Trousdale County, Herman said he hoped to see more patient runs to Trousdale. However, he said EMS crews typically rely on their best judgment based on the patient’s needs if a patient has no preference on hospital.

Trousdale Medical Center has 11 beds, which Herman said meets the community’s need. He added that the hospital is meeting its goal of being able within 30 minutes of arrival to transport patients in need of more urgent care than is available in Hartsville.

Among the services currently available at TMC is intensive outpatient therapy for seniors facing depression or other mental health issues. The hospital added a new CT scanner last year as well.

“We’re going to continue to invest in Trousdale Medical Center and make sure it meets our patients’ needs,” he said. “We want to make sure our community knows what is here, what is available, so they turn to us.”

Reach Chris Gregory at 615-374-3556 or [email protected]