Erlanger Health System is giving nurses a three percent raise and other hospital employees two percent increases despite the forecast of a $4.5 million loss for the coming year.
Kevin Spegiel, new CEO, said the raises do not apply to executive management.
Cost of the pay increase is $2.6 million.
It takes effect Jan. 1, 2014.
The hospital is projecting losses of $335,000 from ContinuCare, $887,450 from the Southside/Dodson Avenue Community Health Centers and $675,000 from Erlanger Bledsoe Hospital.
Mr. Spiegel said, “There’s been a lot of focus based on operations in this budget. Our 2014 budget has been very, very challenging but it is more realistic, and we feel we can achieve it.”
He said he has plans to privatize certain areas of the hospital, including food service and housekeeping.
Erlanger officials said they have concerns about the effect of the Affordable Health Care Act on the hospital and state Medicaid expansion.
Britt Tabor, finance director, said, “Any number of items – from state funding for disproportionate share, trauma services, essential access and Medicaid expansion - could have a significant impact on Erlanger’s budget.
“This is the first year we are projecting a decrease in Medicare patient funding (of $1.9 million), which includes ACA mandated cuts, sequestration cuts and value-based purchasing specific cuts.”
Capital items include the addition of two Cath Labs at $2.5 million; the acquisition of a PET/CT Scanner at $2 million; a Special Procedures Suite at $2.5 million and continued development of Erlanger’s Surgery Department.
Mr. Tabor said, “Each of these projects are expected to generate a large return on investment.”
Also planned are an eight-bed expansion at Erlanger East, costing $2.3 million and Physician Office Building renovations and expansions, totaling approximately $1 million.
Of the $25 million allocated in this year’s “Centers of Excellence” capital budget allocation are almost $5 million each for Erlanger East and technology management improvements, nearly $3 million for cardiac care, more than $2.6 million for neurosciences and $2 million for oncology.
Erlanger is budgeting an increase of 284 admissions, or one percent over last year’s projected admissions.