Nashville Mayor David Briley sits down with the head of Meharry Medical College and Nashville General Hospital Friday in a private meeting. He’s trying to broker a new partnership agreement, with a deadline looming at the end of next week.
"Mayor Briley intervened in these negotiations because he knows how important they are to the city," spokeman Thomas Mulgrew said in a written statement.
Briley has met with both sides multiple times over the summer as they work toward replacing a partnership agreement that expired two years ago. The brinksmanship began in late June, with the hospital threatening to cut off payments if no agreement was reached.
The negotiations have stalled over recruiting and retaining physicians, according to the Nashville Post. The school is worried about its accreditation review while the hospital wants doctors who will attract more paying patients.
"We are currently in ongoing negotiations with the city on the [physician services agreement] and, consequently, cannot discuss it in detail," Meharry general counsel Ivanetta Davis-Samuels said in a written statement Thursday.
General Hospital leases the building on Meharry’s campus. And Meharry provides the physicians to run it. But the relationship has been strained nearly to the breaking point in recent years as General Hospital fought off closure and at times failed to make payments to Meharry, building up at $6 million debt at one point.
In the meantime, Meharry found a new partner so its students could get hands-on experience, across town at Tristar Southern Hills. The tension has spilled into public view at certain points. But so far there has been no interruption in the service at General Hospital.