Frist launches palliative care venture

Former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist this week formally opened the doors to Aspire Health, a Brentwood-based start-up that aims to build outpatient networks of doctors specializing in palliative care, the treatment of patients with various advanced illnesses. The venture has received backing from Clayton Associates, Mountain Group Capital and the Nashville Capital Network. Along with Frist, Aspire's leadership team includes Brad Smith, who formerly ran the state's LaunchTN initiative, and ex-Iasis Healthcare and HealthSpring senior executive Bill Anderson. The group has national ambitions but first wants to set up its local network in conjunction with Alive Hospice.

Smith said he would be happy if Aspire sees 500 to 600 patients within the next six to nine months. “But really, we think the demand is much higher. … We think we are moving on the front end of this market.”