After consulting with Erlanger Health System officials, the Hamilton County delegation decided to delay action on legislation to modernize the governance structure at the hospital, officials said Wednesday.
“During our discussions with Erlanger over the past several weeks, we came to a mutual agreement that the focus now needs to be on the financial health of the hospital,” said Rep. Gerald McCormick. “Erlanger serves a critical health care role in our region and maintaining that service is the first priority.”
Rep. McCormick said the need to modify the 1976 Hospital Authority Act and the possibility of creating an operating board is secondary to curing the financial issues at Erlanger. “We are working with Erlanger to help resolve some of the funding needs,” he said.
Kevin Spiegel, president and CEO of Erlanger, said, “While we know that our governance model needs to be revised, our energy has to be on improved financial performance. Residents of our community have to know that they will receive the quality care that only Erlanger can provide.”
The legislation would permit Erlanger’s Hospital Authority board to consider the creation of a new not-for-profit operating board. Erlanger would maintain its public hospital status while being allowed to operate more efficiently.
“There will be an appropriate time to move forward with this legislation,” said Rep. McCormick, “and that should be when Erlanger feels confident about its long-term financial health. Erlanger’s role in the community is too important not to direct our immediate attention toward that goal.”