NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — The founder and supporters of Middle Tennessee’s only non-profit hospice, Alive, believe the facility is up for sale and at risk of becoming a for-profit facility. Now, they’re getting the Tennessee Attorney General involved.
On Tuesday, the former chair of the advisory board said four sources have confirmed to them that the facility is up for sale.
In a statement to News 2, Alive’s Governing Board Executive Committee said, “We want to emphasize that the comments being made about the Board’s actions are purely speculative and seem intended to frighten those who rely on Alive for their care.”
David Barton, the founder of Alive Hospice, said he is very concerned about how the patients quality of care will be impacted by a sale.
“I have been devastated by this,” said Barton. “I’ve been devastated because this hospice was not created to be an outsider organization.”
The non-profit supporters cited a study from Rand Corporation, which claims patients cared for at for-profit hospices receive “substantially worse” care than those in non-profit hospices.
“We used Alive Hospice for the last 12 months of my father’s life and my family could not have survived without the services that they provided not only to him, but to his caregivers and to the immediate family,” said Sherry Howell. “For-profit and non-profit are not the same and once that happens your mission will change and the delivery of your service will change.”
“The Alive Board is committed to acting only in the best interest of the organization we love and its future,” the Alive executive committee said in a statement. “As Board members, we also are committed to sustaining the legacy of Alive so that generations of Middle Tennesseans will benefit from hospice care into the future, regardless of their ability to pay.”
A campaign, “Keep Alive Alive,” has come together with a petition that currently has about 3,050 signatures, plus billboards on West End Avenue.
The founders and five former Board chairs filed a complaint with the office of the Tennessee Attorney General on May 4, sharing their concerns. They’re asking the community to share their thoughts with the AG as well, by sending an email to KeepAliveAlive@gmail.com or sending a letter to Deputy Attorney General Andrew Coulam, P.O. Box 20207, Nashville, TN 37202.
Alive noted the Attorney General’s Office stated it “will assess the information provided to make sure that non-profit assets are being protected consistent with Tennessee law.”