Erlanger consultant to study Hutcheson staffing

Erlanger consultant to study Hutcheson staffing

July 6th, 2011 by Chris Carroll in News

Erlanger Hospital

Records show Erlanger Health System has contracted with Community Health Corp. to draft a personnel "action plan" at Hutcheson Medical Center.

Originally hired by Hutcheson last year, the Plano, Texas-based health care consulting firm came up with a management plan that resulted in 75 layoffs at the ailing North Georgia hospital in April.

Erlanger hired Community Health for an undisclosed amount. Attempts to discuss the contract with top Erlanger executives were unsuccessful Tuesday.

Hutcheson entered a management agreement with Erlanger after it reported the April layoffs and several consecutive seven-figure monthly operating losses. Erlanger is expected gradually to funnel up to $20 million in credit into Hutcheson.

Executives discussed the Community Health contract during a June 15 Hutcheson board meeting at which Hutcheson interim President Debbie Reeves said "no major layoff is anticipated," according to meeting minutes.

Later, Erlanger President and CEO Jim Brexler said it is "important to stabilize staff and hold people to their standards," those minutes show.

Brexler has promised no layoffs for the 120 days after both hospitals entered a management agreement on May 25, hospital spokeswoman Pat Charles said Tuesday.

Beyond that four-month threshold, Brexler hasn't indicated anything about future personnel moves.

A late draft of the management agreement between the hospitals states that Erlanger and Hutcheson will "transition those employees for which there is no foreseeable need at the hospital."