State Report: Tennesee

October 1, 2009

Commonwealth Fund State Performance Ranking (2007): 40

HIP TN representatives are working to develop a statewide plan that will be submitted as part of the state's application for federal stimulus funds. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act includes approximately $2 billion in funding opportunities for health information technology, including $500 million for regional health information exchange initiatives.

TENNCARE AT HEART OF DEBATE

Opponents of a national public plan cite Tennessee's budget hardships more often than the more recent budget troubles of Massachusetts' reforms that were enacted in 2006.

STATE PUSHES E-PRESCRIBING

Surescripts recognized Tennessee as one of the top five most improved e-prescribing states for 2008.

Results include an annual review and ranking of e-prescribing activity based on the electronic routing of new prescriptions and refill responses transmitted over the Surescripts network. According to the company, Tennessee moved to position 18-up from 29 in 2007-in the state-by-state rankings of e-prescribing activity. At the end of 2008, 1,605 Tennessee providers were e-prescribers, a 144% increase over the 657 recorded at the end of 2007. Tennessee providers issued more than 1,788,000 electronic prescriptions in 2008, representing more than 4% of all prescriptions written in the state.

WHISTLEBLOWER ALLEGES FRAUD

A whistleblower has alleged that Community Health Systems Inc., a Tennessee-based hospital corporation, made more than $90 million through Medicaid fraud at three New Mexico hospitals in eight years.

The lawsuit claims the hospitals made donations to their local counties. In turn, the counties turned the money over to the state to cover its match for federal Medicaid money.

MHE Sources: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services; Urban Institute; Kaiser Family Foundation; U.S. Census Bureau; The Commonwealth Fund; National Center for Health Statistics; Robert Wood Johnson Foundation; Healthcare for America Now.