Health Care | Nashville Public Radio

Health Care

What questions do you have about health care? What health-related stories aren't getting enough attention or need to be explored more deeply? Let us know in the form below:


The nation's largest hospital chain may be feeling the waning benefits of the Affordable Care Act, even as it continues to become more profitable. Nashville-based HCA reported higher-than-expected numbers of uninsured patients during the first quarter.

Blake Farmer / WPLN

The Nashville area has its first local data on the prevalence of autism spectrum disorders. And the numbers are slightly lower than the national figure, which jumped up this year.

TN Photo Services (file)

The finer points of a bill to heavily restrict opioid prescribing came down to the final hours of the legislative session, with a hang-up over medical coding nearly killing Gov. Bill Haslam's signature legislation for the year.

courtesy office of Lamar Alexander

Senator Lamar Alexander's bipartisan response to the opioid crisis has unanimously advanced out of the health committee that he chairs.

Blake Farmer / WPLN

An experimental cancer treatment has won a rare endorsement from the Tennessee legislature, even though lawmakers were discouraged from weighing in. The General Assembly is requiring insurance coverage of proton therapy, which benefits one company building a treatment center in Franklin.

David Goehring / via Flickr

Doctors in Tennessee are putting patients on fewer addictive painkillers. An annual survey finds that opioid prescriptions dropped 8.9 percent in Tennessee last year, but the state still stands out for its high rate of prescribing.

Lauren Bishop / CDC

A nonpartisan analysis finds that the federal government is shouldering a much larger share of individual health insurance costs in Tennessee. Subsidies for those who buy their own insurance on the federal marketplace have increased by 309 percent since 2014, according to the Sycamore Institute. Premiums, by comparison, have risen 185 percent over the same period.

Blake Farmer / WPLN

Backers of Nashville's $5.4 billion transit plan argue that construction of light rail and expansion of bus service could be good for the city's health. That's because riding typically means much more walking.

There's an irony at the heart of the treatment of high blood pressure. The malady itself often has no symptoms, yet the medicines to treat it — and to prevent a stroke or heart attack later — can make people feel crummy.

"It's not that you don't want to take it, because you know it's going to help you. But it's the getting used to it," says Sharon Fulson, a customer service representative from Nashville, Tenn., who is trying to monitor and control her hypertension.

Com Saluda / via Flickr

Tennessee doctors failed to convince the legislature that the way TennCare is starting to pay them isn’t working. Physicians called it their top priority for the legislative session. Lawmakers have agreed to study the program but not pump the brakes.