NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - Big changes are on the way for healthcare in Middle Tennessee and they could very well affect where you choose to see a doctor and how long it will take you to get to and from those appointments.
Hundreds of thousands of drivers pass through Nashville daily and when it comes to accessing healthcare, a lot of patients are sick of the commute.
"Especially for older folks, if they've got to go see a doctor in Nashville, that's going to take a couple hours out of their day," said Hendersonville Mayor Jamie Clary.
Fortunately for them, changes are underway.
In Hendersonville, Saint Thomas recently opened a full service facility.
Orthopedic Alliance just wrapped up construction right up the road and Vanderbilt currently has a facility under construction.
"Having an office outside of having to go into the traffic is so much better because, in the mornings, you're going against the big rush," said Orthopedic Alliance patient Lynn Brown.
Clary said these new facilities highlight the latest battle in a larger fight over healthcare in Hendersonville.
"I absolutely think we're going to see more medical providers come here and I think we're going to see some of the ones who are already here expand," said Clary.
Clary said the trend doesn't just benefit the patients.
Hendersonville is home to thousands of medical professionals too.
"I can't widen I-65. I can't widen Vietnam Veterans Boulevard, but I can certainly help medical providers understand that if they come out here, they've got 3,300 health care professionals that want to work for them," said Clary.
The changing healthcare landscape isn't benefiting everyone.
Hospitals in rural communities are closing at an unprecedented rate. Patients there are struggling to access care.