Blake Farmer

It may be many months before 3,000 more Tennessee children with severe disabilities get state-funded health coverage. The program, known as the Katie Beckett waiver, allows middle- and upper-income families to qualify for TennCare.

Tennessee's 1-year-old law that restricted prescribing of addictive painkillers has had unintended consequences, according to some state lawmakers. They've tweaked some parts of the opioid legislation from 2018, with the changes taking effect July 1.

COURTESY JAMESTOWN REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER / VIA FACEBOOK

The hospital in Jamestown, Tenn., is cutting its staff but vowing not to close. The facility is in trouble because as of Wednesday, it's been cut off from Medicare or Medicaid, and local officials fear the facility can't make it.

"We've even been to Nashville to talk to the governor," says Jamestown Mayor Lyndon Baines. "But right now, there's not much we can do."

Meharry Medical College is launching a new center to study the health effects of smoking and vaping, especially on minority communities. And the money is coming directly from the nation's largest e-cigarette company.

SERGIO MARTÍNEZ-BELTRÁN / WPLN

Republicans in the Tennessee House of Representatives vowed to make free-market reforms in health care this year. The agenda was ambitious — reduce surprise billing, incentivize patients to be more cost conscious and deregulate the hospital industry.

In the end, some legislation stalled out, some was substantially watered down, but patients may still see some change.

Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network

  The Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network will more than double in size thanks to a budget bump from state government. Governor Bill Lee directed an additional $625,000 in recurring money to the nonprofit as part of a broader effort aimed at improving mental health.

Updated May 17, 2019, 6 p.m. ET

A lawsuit over how to distribute donated livers to dying patients took some startling turns this week.

The United Network for Organ Sharing is returning for the moment to an earlier system for distributing donated livers which it had changed on Tuesday, after a federal court in Atlanta threatened to hold the agency in contempt.

Lincoln Health Systems

Many rural hospitals across Tennessee are about to get some outside advice on how to restructure.

The state has launched a program to help rural hospitals hire outside consultants, after approving $1 million a year as part of the Rural Hospital Transformation Act.

Even the one case of measles confirmed in East Tennessee last week has triggered a costly emergency response. The state's Department of Health treats every patient like a ticking time bomb.

The new anti-abortion tilt of the U.S. Supreme Court has inspired some states to further restrict the procedure during the first trimester of pregnancy and move to outlaw abortion entirely if Roe v. Wade ever falls. But the rush to regulate has exposed division among groups and lawmakers who consider themselves staunch abortion opponents.

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