Erlanger bill advances in Tenn. State House

Erlanger bill advances in Tenn. State House

April 18th, 2012 by Andy Sher in Local - Breaking News

Erlanger Hospital in Chattanooga

Photo by Dan Henry/Times Free Press.

NASHVILLE - A bill adding Erlanger's medical chief of staff to the public hospital authority's board passed the House State and Local Government Committee this afternoon.

The bill, sponsored by Majority Leader Gerald McCormick, R-Chattanooga, passed on a voice vote.

Rep. Tommie Brown, D-Chattanooga, asked McCormick what had happened to the original idea of having additional physician appointments from the Chattanooga and Hamilton County Medical Society.

McCormick said the bill's Senate sponsor, Andy Berke, D-Chattanooga, thought it best and he agreed that the chief of staff would work best _ "the reason being we didn't want to have a conflict of interest and get us into trouble like they did a few years ago."

Berke's companion bill has yet to be scheduled in the Senate.

Local lawmakers say they decided to hold off until next year to do an overhaul of the original law creating the hospital authority in order to have discussions with the medical society, city and county officials, the University of Tennessee and others about Erlanger's future direction.

The hospital has lost revenue and laid off employees in recent months.