Erlanger Losses At $2.5 Million After First 6 Months Of Fiscal Year

Monday, January 21, 2013

Erlanger Health System losses are $2.5 million after six months of the fiscal year, including a $1.2 million loss in December.

Chief Finance Office Britt Tabor said the December loss is an improvement over a loss of almost $3.9 million the same month last fiscal year. He said the red ink after six months the prior fiscal year was $10.3 million.

He said at a meeting of the Hospital Authority finance committee on Monday evening, "We’re showing an improvement of almost $8 million over the same period last year.

Surgical inpatients were 19 percent under budget and 11 percent less than last year. Surgical outpatients were 2.3 percent under budget and 3.5 percent less than last year.

Orthopedic inpatient surgeries were under budget by 29 percent, neurosurgery inpatients by 27 percent, and heart/thoracic surgeries with cabs/valves by 26.3 percent.

Mr. Tabor told the panel that high admissions at Children’s Hospital, coupled with “one of our highest volume months in NICU,” helped offset inpatient surgery losses on the Baroness Campus in December.

Although admissions were under budget 5.5 percent for December, they exceeded admissions numbers last December by 1.8 percent.

Erlanger’s emergency room visits were almost 17 percent over budget and 21 percent higher than last year. Helicopter patients were under budget by 2.4 percent and 2.4 percent less than last year.

Cath lab procedures were on budget and more than 16 percent greater than last December.

Mr. Tabor also reported that January inpatient volumes have improved and are over budget.

Paid FTE’s per adjusted occupied bed was 5.35 compared to a budgeted 5.40, and  bad debt and charity care as a percent of gross patient revenue was 9 percent, compared with a budget of 10.41 percent.

Mr. Tabor also noted that, six months into the fiscal year, Erlanger has already provided over $39 million in uncompensated care to the community.

The panel approved the purchase of computers and related software for 2013 at a budgeted cost of $445,000. Officials said, "The objective is to continue Erlanger’s annual 'computer refresh' process, targeting the replacement of the oldest population of computers currently in use – by our clinical, business and physician staffs."  

Also approved was the renovation of Operating Room 19 into a second endovascular suite. Charlsetta Woodard-Thompson said Erlanger currently has one operating room that supports endovascular procedures. Over the past 12 years endovascular procedures are requiring newer technology and larger OR space to accommodate some of the more challenging procedures, she said. Additionally, this service line has seen a significant growth and Erlanger’s single suite has exceeded capacity to accommodate both physician and patient schedules, it was stated.

The cost of the project, which involves renovation of original floors, walls, nurses’ station and build-out of a control area, is $2.3 million.

Mike Baker reported that the renovation project is scheduled to start around March 1.

Ms. Woodard-Thompson also sought committee approval for the purchase of a medical imaging system for radiography and long-length imaging procedures at Children’s Hospital. She told trustees that "the demand for pediatric imaging has remained consistent over the years, but orthopedic volumes have increased and orthopedic clinicians are requesting long length procedures with more frequency."

The budgeted amount for this new equipment is $450,000, and the purchase was also authorized by the committee.


Derrick Richardson Says He Was Wrongly Convicted Of Murder 24 Years Ago

Derrick Richardson, 45, says he was wrongfully convicted of first-degree murder in 1992. He testified in Judge Barry Steelman’s courtroom at a hearing on Monday. Police reports from December 8, 1991 describe the death of Louie F. Dwight, 39, who was found in his truck at 1903 Roanoke Avenue. They said he had suffered three gunshot wounds to his legs. He was transported to Erlanger ... (click for more)

Woman Stabbed Twice During Altercation With Another Woman On Woodside Street

A woman was stabbed twice in an altercation with another woman outside a house on Woodside Street on Tuesday afternoon. The Chattanooga Police Department was notified by a local hospital that a female had arrived suffering from stab wounds to the neck and shoulder. The injuries are reported to be non-life threatening.  The incident happened around 4:30 p.m. Investigators ... (click for more)

Expand Broadband Internet, Not The Size Of Government

I’d like to respond to two letters in your July 13 edition that praised Rep. Mike Carter’s efforts to expand statewide broadband access. Rep. Carter wants more government involvement in the broadband sector, including an expansion of taxpayer-funded, municipal broadband networks.  Rep. Carter’s supporters argued he’s standing up for consumers against huge telecommunications ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Keep Mike Carter’s Genius

Mike Carter, who has just been chosen as the “Best Overall” member of the Tennessee Legislature by a group known as the Tennessee Forum and “Legislator of the Year” by Citizens for Home Rule, is truly both. A lawyer and then a Sessions Court judge for 8 ½ years, he is overwhelmingly favored to win a third term during next Thursday’s election and rightly so. While it is laudable ... (click for more)

Dunbar Promoted To Head Wrestling Job At Ooltewah

J.D. Dunbar had been promoted to head wrestling coach at Ooltewah High School. Dunbar, an assistant with the Owls’ mat program since 2012, becomes a head coach for the first time at the high school level. He replaces Bryant Blackmon, who recently resigned. The 36-year-old Dunbar is also the school’s strength and conditioning coach and assistant head football coach on ... (click for more)

Another Big Week For Chattanooga Football Club

More than 10,000 fans gathered at Finley Stadium last Saturday to see a 5-3 penalty kick win over Miami United.   CFC keeper Gregga Hartley made a save and scored the winning penalty kick, helping his team to advance to the national semifinals on Saturday.  They will host Sonoma County Sol at 7:30 in the comfy confines of "Fort Finley"  Chattanooga is the top ... (click for more)