Blake Farmer | Nashville Public Radio

Blake Farmer

Senior Health Care Reporter

Blake Farmer is Nashville Public Radio's senior health care reporter. In a partnership with Kaiser Health News and NPR, Blake covers health in Tennessee and the health care industry in the Nashville area for local and national audiences.

Blake has worked at WPLN throughout his career, most recently serving as news director and primary editor for the newsroom. Previously, his reporting focused on education and the military. He's also enjoyed producing stories about midnight frog gigging and churches holding gun raffles. 

Growing up in East Nashville, Blake attended Lipscomb Academy. He went to college in Texas at Abilene Christian University where he cut his teeth in radio at KACU-FM. Before joining WPLN full time in 2007, Blake also wrote for the Nashville City Paper and filed international stories for World Christian Broadcasting.

An active member and past-president of the Society of Professional Journalists Middle Tennessee Chapter, Blake has also won numerous regional and national awards from the Associated Press, RTDNA and PRNDI. In 2017, his alma mater honored him with the Gutenberg Award for achievements of journalism graduates. 

This may say more than anything: he always keeps his audio recorder handy, even on vacation, just in case there's a story to be told.

Ways to Connect

courtesy Office of Gov. Asa Hutchinson

TennCare wants to hear what people think about a new work requirement, now that the agency has submitted a draft plan to the federal government. But Tennessee is still at least two years away from implementation.

Blake Farmer / WPLN

The Secretary of Health and Human Services addressed Nashville health care executives Thursday, announcing that premiums for individual plans on the Affordable Care Act will drop for the first time. Alex Azar said the rates, nationwide, dipped 2 percent after consistent year-over-year increases. Tennessee dropped even more, for the first time.

courtesy TNECD

A massive hospital chain with thousands of employees in Cool Springs and Antioch is on the hook for a quarter-billion-dollar settlement with the federal government. The payout is larger than expected for Community Health Systems, but it also lifts a cloud that has been hanging over the company by protecting it from criminal prosecution.

Blake Farmer / WPLN

Middle Tennessee's struggling VA medical centers may be in the early stages of a turnaround. An annual report from the Department of Veterans Affairs shows both the Nashville and Murfreesboro campuses making improvement.

FILE / WPLN

The fiercest attacks in Tennessee's pivotal Senate race have centered on health care, and perhaps that's not by chance. Recent polling from NBC/WSJ puts the issue at the top of concerns for American voters.

Donn Jones Photography / Nashville Health Care Council

Nashville-based HCA launched 50 years ago at a time when for-profit health care basically didn't exist. The company has faced five decades of highs and lows. And as it marks its anniversary, executives are being more candid about how the business model has evolved since 1968.

Blake Farmer / WPLN

Roughly 27 percent of salaries in the Nashville area now come from jobs in the health care sector. And a study published Thursday shows the city's leading industry has become even more dominant over the last decade.

Blake Farmer / WPLN (File photo)

Not all drug dependent babies in Tennessee are using the speech and behavioral therapy they're eligible for. That's a key takeaway from a study published this month that confirms a long-held concern about infants who spend their first few weeks of life withdrawing from opioids.

Blake Farmer / WPLN

A Nashville-based health care firm warns that consolidation in the hospital industry is driving up prices of tests and procedures.  A co-founder of Healthcare Bluebook appeared before senators Tuesday amid a series of hearings on the ballooning cost of health care.

Blake Farmer / WPLN

Nashville General Hospital and Meharry Medical College are pooling all of their patient data over the last 10 years and making it available to researchers. The data set is meant to provide insight into local health challenges and broader racial disparities.

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