published Tuesday, April 5th, 2011

Catoosa commissioners vote to back Hutcheson


by Andy Johns

Catoosa County commissioners voted unanimously this morning to urge the county’s Economic Development Authority to secure funding to back Hutcheson Medical Center in case multi-lateral negotiations break down on Wednesday.

Commissioners said Erlanger Health System, the Chattanooga hospital system that would invest more than $30 million into the failing Fort Oglethorpe hospital, essentially has said the current management agreement is its last offer.

The hospital authority of Walker, Dade and Catoosa counties will meet Wednesday night to vote on the agreement, which three other boards already have approved.

Commissioners expressed some concern that the board might vote down the agreement which includes a total of $20 million in pledges from Catoosa and Walker counties.

Commissioners want the Economic Development Authority to be prepared to issue a $10 million bond for the county to back Erlanger’s investment in case the agreement fall through.

“Essentially, this is Catoosa County’s ‘Plan B,’” said Catoosa Commission Chairman Keith Greene.

For complete details, see tomorrow’s Chattanooga Times Free Press.

about Andy Johns...

Andy began working at the Times Free Press in July 2008 as a general assignment reporter before focusing on Northwest Georgia and Georgia politics in May of 2009. Before coming to the Times Free Press, Andy worked for the Anniston Star, the Rome News Tribune and the Campus Carrier at Berry College, where he graduated with a communications degree in 2006. He is pursuing a master’s degree in business administration at the University of Tennessee ...

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Marathon5454 said...

Why would Erlanger possibly risk public funds to merely postpone the bankruptcy of Hutcheson? What is there for Erlanger to gain that would be worth risking $30 million? Patients? Hutcheson has already lost their patients. The last 20 years of mismanagement and self dealing made sure of that. There is nothing for Erlanger to gain to compensate for risking public funds. Hutcheson has very few patients and has total debt that is at least triple it's auction value. Let Hutcheson bankrupt and let the bankruptcy trustee do a comprehensive investigation into this sorry mess

April 5, 2011 at 11:51 a.m.
Humphrey said...

one problem is, Tennessee hospitals accept medicaid from Georgia, Georgia hospitals do not accept medicaid from Tennessee.

April 5, 2011 at 8:25 p.m.
mkelley said...

marathon, Erlanger only gets $5 mil. from Hamilton county. If you look at other safety net hospitals, they're getting $20 mil. The money they're using, is more than likely from the Federal funds they're getting for taking care of the over $60 mill of the area's folks who cannot afford to go to Memorial or parkridge

April 5, 2011 at 9:31 p.m.
littleoleme said...

So does this mean that Catoosa County plans on solely funding this deal with Erlanger without Walker or Dade? Are these Catoosa County commissioners out of their minds? Surely the taxpayers of Catoosa wouldn't support this!

April 5, 2011 at 10:11 p.m.
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