Moody’s Reaffirms Erlanger’s Baa2 Bond Rating

Friday, August 9, 2013

Moody’s Investor Services reaffirmed the Erlanger Health System’s Baa2 bond rating on Wednesday. Moody’s analysts attributed the latest rating assessment to “a new dynamic chief executive officer with operational improvement experience at large tertiary academic hospitals” who “will lead the turnaround initiatives.”

The report noted that Erlanger is working toward additional supplemental payments through the Public Hospital Supplemental Payment Pool, a designated pool for safety net hospitals in Tennessee.

Erlanger’s designation “as a ‘safety net’ hospital has resulted in annual state-funded essential access payments and new disproportionate share payments, although funding of programs are not guaranteed into the future,” analysts stated.

“The affirmation from Moody’s is a vote of confidence in our strategies to improve our financial position,” stated Kevin M. Spiegel, FACHE, Erlanger president and CEO. “This is a call to action for all Erlanger associates to move forward with our cost saving initiatives and growth strategies.”

Moody’s analysts also noted Erlanger’s strong presence in the region. “Erlanger garners a wide regional draw with unique high end acute care services (kidney transplantation, PICU, NICU III, Level I trauma) and a strong market share of 31.3 percent in the total 15-county service area,” the report said. “In addition, Erlanger receives over 4,800 patient referrals (mostly tertiary cases, which represent about 18 percent of its total admissions) from parts of Georgia, Alabama and Tennessee which are outside its 15-county service area.”

In discussing Erlanger’s financial picture, the Moody’s report noted that “further operational improvement is projected for FY 2014” at Erlanger. Analysts also stated that Erlanger’s conservative debt structure and the strong economy of the city, county, and region contributed to Moody’s reaffirmation of Erlanger’s rating.


Hamilton, Bradley Schools To Have 2-Hour Delay Wednesday; UTC To Open At 10; Other Closings And Delays

Hamilton County, Cleveland Schools and Bradley County Schools will have two-hour delays on Wednesday morning due to the threat of icy road conditions. UTC will open at 10 a.m. on Wednesday . Classes begin and offices open at 10 a.m . Catoosa County, Murray County and Whitfield County Schools have a two-hour weather delay for students and staff before school on ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Postal Worker Charged With Soliciting Teen For Sex

A Chattanooga postal worker has been charged by federal authorities with sexual exploitation of a child. Jason Wesley Ford was arrested after TBI officers set up a sting operation in a North Chattanooga house and began monitoring websites like Meetme.com and Kik.com. Prosecutor Terra Bay said they were looking for adults trying to contact teens for sexual purposes. Ford, ... (click for more)

Rick Smith Should Not Be Paid To Leave

Taxpayers of Hamilton County should take note that a majority of the members of the school board are getting ready to give Rick Smith the buyout that he wants.  Do you agree that someone should be paid for taking the coward's way out?  Rick Smith should be fired for cause. Not paid to leave.   If you don't want the board members to pay him off, call or ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Momma Bears Roar

If I could count Hamilton County’s best educators on one hand, Normal Park Elementary Principal Jill Levine would be the biggest finger. What she and her faculty and a dazzling commitment from both her students and parents have accomplished is an educational dream. I am told people literally move to North Chattanooga just so their children will be zoned for the award-winning school. ... (click for more)

Bradley Early Favorite In Region 4-AAA Wrestling

CLEVELAND, Tenn. -- We're getting down to the fun part of the high school wrestling season. All of the dual meets have been held and the State Duals are complete as well. Now it's time to see how many individuals each team can qualify for next week's traditional state tournament and that's the purpose of this weekend's regional action. The Bradley Bears, who breezed to ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Football Club Releases 2016 Schedule

Chattanooga Football Club has released the match dates and times of its 2016 schedule. Highlights include the league home opener against Nashville FC on  Saturday, May 21,  and a Fourth of July weekend regular season finale at home against rival New Orleans on  Saturday, July 2 . Chattanooga FC competes in the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL). Chattanooga ... (click for more)