Business Briefs: Local gas prices cheapest in state

gas pump tile gas tile fuel tile / Getty Images

Chattanooga gas prices fell by 3.5 cents a gallon last week to an average $2.21 a gallon, according to GasBuddy's daily survey of 170 stations.

Gas prices in Chattanooga are 6.7 cents per gallon lower than a month ago and remain 28.4 cents per gallon lower than a year ago.

Chattanooga boasted the lowest gas prices in Tennessee and the average price for a gallon of regular gas was 37 cents less per gallon than the U.S. average, according to

"The air is getting crisp, the leaves falling, and for the third straight week the national average price of gasoline has, too," said Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy. "The nation should see a fourth straight week of decline with over three-quarters of stations passing along lower prices in the coming week."

Auto makers split over California rule

Breaking with some of their biggest rivals, General Motors, Fiat Chrysler and Toyota said Monday they were intervening on the side of the Trump administration in an escalating battle with California over fuel economy standards for automobiles.

Their decision pits them and others against their peers, including Honda and Ford, who this year reached a deal to follow California's stricter rules. It represents the latest dramatic twist in one of the Trump administration's most consequential rollbacks of regulations designed to fight climate change.

The Trump administration has proposed a major weakening of federal auto emissions standards set during the Obama administration, prompting California to declare that it will go its own course and keep enforcing the earlier, stricter standards. The automakers siding with the administration, led by the industry group Global Automakers, say that the federal government, not California, has the ultimate authority to set fuel economy standards for passenger cars and trucks.

Express Care adds new senior care options

Four months after being acquired by the parent company of Hospice of Chattanooga, Comprehensive Care has launched a private-duty service in Chattanooga that allows individuals to set their desired hours of assistance – from as little as one hour of care.

Known as ExpressCare, the new service is available without requiring a long-term contract and covers a wide range of services, including grocery shopping, laundry, medication reminders, safety check-ins, bathing/hygiene and transportation to the doctor, among others.

"The current standard in the industry is a minimum 4-hour shift to access non-medical services in your home," said Julie Hogan, vice president of operations for Comprehensive Care, which was bought by Alleo Health System in June. "With this service we can cater to any lifestyle and budget for seniors and their families."

According to the population estimates by the U.S. Census Bureau, there are 52 million American age 65 and older (16% of total population) with the number increasing to 95 million (23% of total population) by 2060. The Home Care Association of America indicates that 40% of adults over age 65 need daily assistance and at least 70% of those 65 years and older will need assistance at some point.

ExpressCare is part of the Comprehensive Care portfolio that includes other unique services such as ShareCare, a program designed to address affordability by sharing services of a caregiver, and PlacementCare, a free service providing tours and introductions to senior assisted living facilities.

Ross elected chair of hospital group

James Ross, president and CEO at West Tennessee Healthcare in Jackson, Tenn., is the new chairman of the Tennessee Hospital Association.

Ross was installed as chairman last week during the 81st annual meeting of THA's board of directors. The nonprofit organization serves as an advocate for hospitals, health systems, other healthcare organizations and the patients they serve and maintains an extensive lobby presence at the Tennessee Capitol on health care and health business issues.

Paul Korth, CEO at Cookeville Regional Medical Center, will serve as THA's chairman-elect.

The new Southeast Tennessee hospital executives elected to the THA board include Elizabeth Appling, chief diversity officer at Erlanger Medical Center; Stephanie Boynton, administrator at Erlanger Bledsoe Hospital in Pikeville.