Erlanger Health System Projecting $10.8 Million Profit - With Help From $19 Million In Federal Funds

Monday, July 21, 2014

Erlanger Health System is projecting a $10.8 million profit for the upcoming fiscal year - with the help of $19 million in federal funds from a pool for public hospitals.

The $19 million received in time for the current budget helped avoid a sizable deficit.

The hospital is hoping the federal funds will be coming on an annual basis.

At the start of the last fiscal year, with no federal funds in sight, Erlanger budgeted a $4 million deficit. It would have been much worse except for the recent funding that CEO Kevin Spiegel helped obtain.

Mr. Spiegel said of the new fiscal worksheet, "It's a very aggressive budget, but I believe we're going to meet it. or exceed it, and have a very successful year."

The CEO said if Tennessee expands Medicaid, "We would see significantly more revenue."

But he said, "If we see more TennCare cuts, or Medicare cuts, than projected, or if our relationship with United Healthcare changes significantly, we will have come in short."

The budget includes $2.75 million to shore up pay for bedside nurses.

Finance Director Britt Tabor, noting that nurses received a 3 percent raise in January and other employees got 2 percent, said there are no additional increases in the new budget.

He said a number of cost-saving initiatives led by Mr. Spiegel brought significant savings, including moving from a pension program to a contributing plan, having employees contribute more to healthcare expenses, and farming out food service.

The budget includes $25 million in capital spending. Jack Studer, board finance committee chairman, said it is aimed at giving physicians top space and equipment so they can provide optimal care for patients.

There is $8 million for development of an orthopaedic center of excellence and funding for the latest in MRI equipment.

Projected revenue is $621.2 million - up 1 percent.   

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