Bill to change Erlanger governance introduced in Tennessee House, not Senate

Staff Photo by Matt Hamilton / Erlanger Medical Center is shown on Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2022.

A bill that would allow Erlanger Health System to become a non-governmental entity was filed Wednesday in the Tennessee House of Representatives, but as of Thursday afternoon, no companion bill had been introduced in the Senate.

House Bill 2915 was filed by Rep. Patsy Hazlewood, R-Signal Mountain, with co-sponsor Esther Helton, R-East Ridge.

The bill proposes changes to the private act that created the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Hospital Authority, better known as Erlanger, so that the Erlanger Board of Trustees along with Hamilton County government can consider whether the public hospital system should transition to a private nonprofit governance model.

(READ MORE: Hamilton County delegation reviewing plans to make Erlanger private)

The amendment would enable the Erlanger board by a two-thirds vote to transfer Erlanger's assets or liabilities for "no or nominal monetary consideration" to a nonprofit corporation that agrees to "covenants" for continuing Erlanger's safety-net mission related to charity care, emergency and trauma services, major clinical service lines, the children's hospital, federally qualified health centers, population health and participation in the federal Medicare and Medicaid programs.