published Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012

Erlanger's losses dip in April

 Chattanooga's Erlanger Hospital is seen in this aerial file photo.
Chattanooga's Erlanger Hospital is seen in this aerial file photo.
Photo by Doug Strickland.

ERLANGER RED INK

July: $1.3 million loss

August: $1.5 million profit

September: $1.3 million loss

October: $2.1 million loss

November: $3.2 million loss

December: $3.9 million loss

January: $2.1 million loss

February: $0.6 million loss

March: $4.1 million loss

April: $0.7 million loss

Source: Erlanger Health System financial reports

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Erlanger Health System had its second-best month in eight months in April and may break even in May, after nearly a year of dismal reports, officials said Monday evening.

The mood at the monthly Budget and Finance Committee meeting Monday evening was optimistic compared with last month's meeting, when officials reported a $4 million loss.

"We might make it in May," said interim CEO Charlesetta Woodard-Thompson, talking about when the hospital may see its first positive numbers.

The hospital lost just over $717,000 in April despite $4 million in uncompensated care. It has lost nearly $18 million since the beginning of the fiscal year in July.

The hospital had an increase in its Neonatal Intensive Care Unit patients and outpatient surgeries in April that helped improve its numbers, Chief Financial Officer Britt Tabor told the committee.

However, inpatient surgeries remained low, down more than 14 percent compared with last year. The hospital's monthly inpatient surgeries have dropped from more than 800 to below 700 during the last year.

Erlanger began losing money last fall, as doctors moved lucrative surgeries to other hospitals. Under pressure from the board, former CEO Jim Brexler resigned in December.

Chief Medical Officer Cy Huffman abruptly resigned earlier this month.

Woodard-Thompson and Tabor said overtime pay continues to be a concern, as well.

"It will be stopped -- you won't see it next month," Woodard Thompson promised the committee.

about Mariann Martin...

Mariann Martin covers healthcare in Chattanooga and the surrounding region. She joined the Times Free Press in February 2011, after covering crime and courts for the Jackson (Tenn.) Sun for two years. Mariann was born in Indiana, but grew up in Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Belize. She graduated from Union University in 2005 with degrees in English and history and has master’s degrees in international relations and history from the University of Toronto. While attending Union, ...

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