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.

Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: AGUSTIN, BRIAN FELIX  G3003 4TH AVE CHATTANOOGA, 37407  Age at Arrest: 18 years old Arresting Agency: Chattanooga THEFT OF PROPERTY --- ALBEE, JEREMY EUGENE  HOMELESS CHATTANOOGA,  Age at Arrest: 39 years old Arresting Agency: Chatt. Housing Authority PUBLIC INTOXICATION --- ... (click for more)

Tennessee Attorney General Intervenes In Opiod Lawsuits; Says State, Not District Attorneys, Should Take The Lead

Tennessee Attorney General Herbert H. Slatery III has filed motions to intervene in three lawsuits brought by district attorneys general against several opioid manufacturers and health care providers.    He said, "This Office moved to intervene to protect the interests of the entire state and its citizens while fulfilling our statutory duty to direct the opioid ... (click for more)

Avoid Underage Drinking And Other Prom Drama

My high school prom took a dramatic turn when two guys got their tuxedo jackets mixed up. One of them belonged to my date, who kindly offered to keep my wallet in his pocket. That’s the jacket another young man mistakenly grabbed off the back of a chair before heading to an underage drinking party that got shut down by police well after midnight—as kids scattered in every direction.  ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Sheriff’s Request

Jim Hammond will talk to members of the Hamilton County School Board on Thursday afternoon and, just like any police officer in the United States, he will request that everybody “stay in their own lane.” Some school board members tend to believe they need to help decide the best methods of protecting our children. They believe this is one of the things they were elected to do in ... (click for more)

Keiser, Wigg Power Ooltewah Past East Hamilton, 9-5, in 5-3A Baseball

Frustrated by an early season hitting slump, Ooltewah left-fielder Payton Keiser broke loose with four hits, including a clutch three-run triple in a five-run seventh inning, and drove in five runs as the Owls beat rival East Hamilton, 9-5, Tuesday in District 5-3A action in horrible weather for baseball. Keiser had run-scoring singles in the second and fourth innings and ... (click for more)

Cleveland Rally Tops Walker Valley, 4-1

CHARLESTON, Tenn – Cleveland pitching ace Camden Sewell is used to the gaudy individual numbers and he rarely disappoints. Unfortunately, he has walked off the mound a few too many times in tough battles such as the one with Walker Valley  Tuesday  night without the one number he most cherishes.   That number being the one you put in the win column. ... (click for more)