Blake Farmer

A disproportionate share of the rural hospitals that have closed in the last five years were owned by for-profit companies, including some based in Nashville, according to a new Government Accountability Office report.

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.

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.

An annual report tracking obesity rates state-by-state finds Tennessee to be a little bit thinner than the previous year, especially compared to other southern states.

Tennessee fell several positions to having the 15th-highest obesity rate in the nation.

A troubled chain of pain clinics — reportedly treating tens of thousands of Tennesseans a month — has blamed its sudden closure on tighter regulations.

But Comprehensive Pain Specialists had a hand in shaping the state's pain clinic laws. And the company, which is under federal investigation, has been quietly co-owned by a current state lawmaker from Nashville. 

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