President Kevin Spiegel highlights growth at Erlanger hospital board meeting

President Kevin Spiegel highlights growth at Erlanger hospital board meeting

September 29th, 2017 by Elizabeth Fite in Local Regional News

President and Chief Executive Officer for the Erlanger Health System Kevin Spiegel playfully tosses sand in the direction of others Tues., June 6, 2017, during the ground breaking ceremony at the site for the new Erlanger Children's Hospital on Third Street in Chattanooga

Photo by Erin O. Smith /Times Free Press.

Growth was the theme of Erlanger Health System President Kevin Spiegel's report during Thursday evening's hospital board meeting.

"Our growth and our track record of implementing projects and continuing to grow market share is unprecedented," Spiegel said as he highlighted achievements from the year and plans for the future.

His report followed Monday's budget and finance committee meeting, which revealed the hospital's audited financial statements for fiscal year 2017.

Hospital admissions were 9.1 percent greater than last year and net operating revenue for 2017 was $886.4 million, up from $824.3 million in 2016.

President and Chief Executive Officer for the Erlanger Health System Kevin Spiegel speaks Tues., June 6, 2017, during the ground breaking ceremony at the site for the new Erlanger Children's Hospital on Third Street in Chattanooga, Tenn. Hundreds showed up in support of the new facility being built.

President and Chief Executive Officer for the Erlanger...

Photo by Erin O. Smith

The numbers were driven largely by the opening of Erlanger East Hospital, where admissions exceeded the budget by 34.7 percent, with surgical inpatients increasing 11.2 percent, particularly in the areas of heart, orthopedic and neurosurgery inpatient surgeries.

But while patient volume and revenue both grew, so did expenses.

Erlanger Health System, which operates as a nonprofit hospital, reported net income from operations of $9.9 million for fiscal year 2017, down from $29.5 million the previous year.

The decline is due primarily to the cost and implementation of a new electronic medical record system, a $100 million investment that Erlanger began in October 2015. The biggest payment to the software company, $33 million, was due this year.

Britt Tabor, chief financial officer for Erlanger, said the roll-out of the new system is going smoother than anticipated.

"The first phase was the 'go-live' in all the Erlanger physician practices — this occurred on May 1 and was very successful," Tabor said in an email, adding that the hospital generated more revenue during phase one than what was budgeted.

The second phase will begin Oct. 29, when the system will "go-live" for all hospital services.

Fiscal year 2018 will be impacted by the opening of the Heart and Lung Institute, the opening of the Erlanger East Outpatient Cancer Center and the opening of the Erlanger Behavioral Health Hospital, which will employ 200 people, according to Spiegel's report.

"We're expanding our reach and serving not only Hamilton County, but the entire region," he said.

For the first time in Erlanger's history, the hospital provided more than $110 million in uncompensated care to the uninsured and underinsured.

Contact Elizabeth Fite at efite@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6673.


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