The Knoxville medical community is a bit skeptical about an announcement that Tennova may build a new hospital on Middlebrook Pike to replace what used to be St. Mary’s.
The skeptics note that the company hasn’t bought the property yet—it just has an option on 110 acres. The skeptics also note that a new hospital would cost upwards of $300 million, which is about how much the company spends on capital costs per year for its entire operation. A sum that large could be used to buy up more community hospitals to add to the company’s growing list of facilities. The new hospital would represent $300 million to replace what the company already has, just in another location.
They also note that Baptist Hospital was a profitable operation on the banks of the river in downtown Knoxville, but went into financial difficulty and a death spiral when they spent the money to build a new hospital in West Knoxville, on Parkside Drive.