Stimulus funds boost Erlanger $35.3 million into the black after losing $94 million in revenue due to pandemic

Erlanger CFO Britt Tabor presents the fiscal year 2020 budget to the Erlanger Health System Board of Trustees in the POB room at Erlanger on Thursday, June 27, 2019 in Chattanooga, Tenn. / Staff photo by C.B. Schmelter

Erlanger Health System capped off a rollercoaster fiscal year with about $35.3 million net income from operations, after receiving $55.9 million in federal stimulus funds meant to offset costs of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Erlanger's financial status was revealed during the hospital board's budget and finance committee meeting Monday evening. A report from independent auditors found that without the stimulus funds, Erlanger was operating at a $19.9 million loss compared to a budgeted operating income of $13.2 million.

At this time last year, Erlanger ended fiscal year 2019 with a $4.4 million loss and the first quarter of fiscal 2020 with a $4.5 million loss.

Net patient revenue for the health system fell from $1.05 billion in fiscal year 2019 to $993.6 million in fiscal year 2020 due to fewer people seeking medical care as a result of the pandemic and a temporary pause on elective procedures, which Erlanger Chief Financial Officer Britt Tabor called the "lifeblood" of the health system's revenue.