Erlanger Registers A $1.5 Million Loss For August

Monday, September 23, 2013

  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."





Tennessee Legislature Approves MOC Bill

Physician members of the Tennessee Medical Association are praising a new law that will ease the mandatory requirements for doctors to maintain specialty board certification. The Tennessee General Assembly unanimously approved the measure after a two-year effort by TMA to persuade state lawmakers to take action on what has become a hot button issue for physicians across the U.S., ... (click for more)

Free Tai Chi Classes April 3 In Tiftonia

Free Tai Chi classes begin April 3 at John A Patten Center in Tiftonia. Classes are for beginners and are designed to help those with arthritis, but others may benefit from this relaxing exercise, officials said. Classes will be held on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11-11:45 a.m. in April. Call UT Extension at 423-855-6113 to register. Leave your name and phone number. Registration ... (click for more)

South Carolina Man Arrested For Identity Theft After Signal Mountain Woman Gets Bills Of Over $27,000

A Darlington, S.C. man has been arrested and brought back to Chattanooga after a Signal Mountain woman said her identity was stolen and over $27,000 in bills were rung up. Jason Rashaad Jones, 36, was charged with criminal conspiracy, criminal impersonation, identity theft, forgery, theft of property and computer offenses. The victim filed a report with the Signal Mountain ... (click for more)

Hamilton County Clerk's Office Honors Donors With Donate Life Flag

Hamilton County Clerk Bill Knowles announced his office will raise the Donate Life Flag during the month of April.  Blue and green flags will be flying outside courthouses and county office buildings around Tennessee in recognition of National Donate Life Month.  This is an effort by county clerks to bring attention to the importance of organ and tissue donation.  ... (click for more)

Food Trucks Steal From Property And Rent-Paying Eateries - And Response

According to minutes of the City Council’s  Economic Development Committee and several local news articles, Chattanooga’s City Attorney gave a food truck presentation. He explained to City Council that a new food truck ordinance was being drafted to allow use of mobile food trucks on public  property . He said Chattanooga’s current ordinance limited food trucks to parking ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Saturday Funnies

I don’t make much of a secret that I hated every single second of the short time I spent in college or that I never took a journalism class. Instead what I know about writing was taught by a far greater collection of experts than you can find on any college campus. Andy Rooney, for example, was a genius with a dry humor who lectured to me almost every Sunday night for about 30 years. ... (click for more)