Hutcheson Says It Will Vigorously Defend Erlanger Lawsuit

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Hutcheson Medical Center and its boards of directors announced the hospital will vigorously defend a lawsuit filed last week by Erlanger Health System and "will remain focused on rebuilding a thriving north Georgia community medical center."

Hutcheson officials said, "The damages we have sustained due to Erlanger’s breach of a management agreement far exceed the amount of any line of credit or other debt owed by Hutcheson to Erlanger."

Hospital and county officials "noted that the successes realized by Hutcheson while rebuilding the hospital in recent years are attributable to the work of the hospital staff rather than Erlanger’s management. The hospital’s self-generated successes are among the reasons officials said they announced in November that Hutcheson would remain independently operated following the conclusion of its contract with Erlanger earlier in the year. The decision came after the medical center tried unsuccessfully to find a new management partner committed to ensuring Hutcheson remains a comprehensive hospital with the services necessary to support the communities of Walker, Catoosa and Dade counties, including general surgery, pulmonology, gastroenterology and orthopedics."

Hutcheson officials said the North Georgia community "is an attractive market for regional hospitals, and while Erlanger expressed interest in investing in the community, few were made. Instead, they say, Erlanger sought to transfer patients out of North Georgia to its main hospital in Chattanooga. Erlanger failed to address the needs of the citizens of the tri-county or Hutcheson. Officials noted that Hutcheson’s debt rose under Erlanger’s management and in the first year of the hospital’s contract alone, the hospital’s admissions dropped by the same margin Erlanger’s Walker and Catoosa County admissions rose.

"In just a few months of independent operation, Hutcheson launched initiatives to add state-of-the art technology, including a new CT scanner and two outpatient GI suites at Hutcheson on the Parkway, grow the number of outpatient clinics and expand operating hours for better community convenience. Meanwhile, hospital leaders are working to find solutions to the debt challenges, which grew under Erlanger’s management, so that Hutcheson can remain fiscally strong and operate independently."

Corky Jewell, chairman of the Hutcheson Medical Center board of directors, said, “In spite of the challenges created by past administrations and Erlanger’s management, we remain confident that we have the partners and resources to turn the corner and make this hospital the thriving community healthcare institution it used to be.”

According to Walker County attorney Don Oliver, Walker County and Region’s Bank are providing support of the hospital’s ongoing financial needs. He said, “We are surprised and disappointed that Erlanger’s leaders filed this lawsuit in an attempt to distract attention away from their own financial problems. We were working with Erlanger officials last week to discuss a mutual settlement of claims – at a meeting Erlanger requested – while they were covertly drafting a lawsuit. ”

Attorney Chad Young, who represents Catoosa County, said, “Catoosa County has been and remains supportive of Hutcheson and remains unified with Hutcheson and Walker County in the defense of any litigation filed by Erlanger and the pursuit of any claims or counterclaims on behalf of Hutcheson against Erlanger for its breaches of the Management Agreement.”



Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: ANDRES, RUBEN  1712 E 27TH STREET CHATTANOOGA, 37407  Age at Arrest: 23 years old Arresting Agency: Hamilton County VIOLATION OF PROBATION (POSSESION OF A CONTROLLED VIOLATION OF PROBATION (DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENC --- BACCUS, PIERRE JAWAUN  31 WANDO DRIVE CHATTANOOGA, 37412  ... (click for more)

Person Injured In Drive-by Shooting On North Germantown Road Friday Afternoon

A person was shot early Friday afternoon on North Germantown Road.  The Chattanooga Police Department responded at 1:45 p.m. to the 700 block of North Germantown Road on a person shot.   The victim was suffering from a non-life threatening gunshot wound, and  was transported to a local hospital by HCEMS.   The victim was shot from a suspect ... (click for more)

Roy Couldn't Possibly Be More Wrong - And Response (5)

Spreading false information isn't only harmful, as we've been made aware recently. The spread of false information can be outright dangerous.   Calling himself a Christian and all, Roy truly disappoints on so many levels with his recently opinion piece about black students attending predominately white schools being the cause of so much problems and grief at those schools. ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Facebook Starlet

The Pants Store, a toney women’s boutique in Birmingham’s Mountain Book community, held its annual Holiday Open House about a week or so and, as usual, the popular store was full of customers and holiday cheer. It was a festive gathering, fun for all, but as store employees cleaned up for the next day, they happened across an empty designer-shoe box and a brassiere somebody had ... (click for more)

CSAS Gets Defensive In Win Over Boyd-Buchanan

High school basketball is still in the early stages of the 2016-17 season, but CSAS coach Mark Dragoo is already seeing improvement from his team and they’ve only played four games. The Patriots are always a good team with lots of quick, athletic players who can shoot well and play sticky defense. That was the case on Friday night at Boyd-Buchanan as the Patriots shot well ... (click for more)

Bradley Girls Stave Off Stone Memorial's Upset Bid, 48-46

The Bradley Central Bearettes’ ninth straight win to open the high school basketball season was their toughest to date. The Bearettes got a game-winning field goal from junior standout Rhyne Howard – on an assist by Halle Hughes – with no time left on the clock for a 48-46 non-district victory over stubborn Stone Memorial at Jim Smiddy Arena on Friday night. After a turnover ... (click for more)