Erlanger Health Systems reported a $1.5 million loss for August, leaving the hospital just barely in the black after two months of the fiscal year.
Britt Tabor, finance director, called it "a very unusual month, especially the last week of August.
He noted that admissions were 13.6 percent over budget and 4.8 percent higher than last year, but he said the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit volume was 10.5 percent under budget and surgeries down - especially at the end of the month.
Mr. Tabor said, “This, combined with our commercial utilization being almost 10 percent under budget and more than 16 percent lower than last year, had a significant impact on our August revenues.”
Emergency room visits were 13.7 percent higher than last year, but almost six percent below projections for August.
Physician practice outpatient visits were more than 31 percent under budget and 27.7 percent below last year's numbers.
Cath lab procedures were down by 19 percent, and IP heart-thoracic surgeries and neurosurgery inpatient surgeries also down.
The board's finance committee was told that Erlanger had a $7.9 million loss for the 2012-13 fiscal year.
Admissions for the year were six percent under budget for the year, surgical inpatients were 11.7% under budget, surgical outpatients were 4.6 percent under budget and Erlanger’s surgical mix was 29.8 percent for the year. Emergency room visits were 4.4 percent under budget, but 6.4% higher than the previous year. Cost per adjusted admission for the year was $8,622 compared to a budget of $8,243.
Erlanger provided more than $85 million in uncompensated care for the fiscal year.
The finance committee approved the renovation and re-location of physician staff lounges and locker rooms to provide for future expansion of the new vascular operating rooms.
Officials said vascular operations are a major component of the hospital.
The project will cost $1.5 million and will be funded from the previous sale of the Erlanger East Physician Office Buildings.
Also approved as a professional services agreement between Erlanger and University Oncology and Hemotology Associates for medical oncology and hematology services.
Erlanger Chief Nursing Officer Jan Keys said, “This agreement represents a commitment to embrace a more quality-driven model of cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment.”
Officials said, "Payments for oncology services are not keeping up with the costs of running a practice, and drug profit-margins for the administration of chemotherapy have declined significantly over the past eight years. With this agreement, Erlanger will be able to offset reimbursement cuts for chemotherapeutic drugs through access to competitive pricing of outpatient drugs. This will also allow Erlanger to better serve the community by improving access to medical oncology and hematology services to the underserved. Partnering with medical oncology physicians will be critical to the overall success of cancer services as demand for services continues to grow."