published Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

Erlanger revenue below projections

by Naomi Jagoda
Erlanger Hospital is located on 3rd Street in Chattanooga.
Erlanger Hospital is located on 3rd Street in Chattanooga.
Photo by Angela Lewis /Chattanooga Times Free Press.
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Erlanger Health System's operating expenses exceeded its revenue by about $1.07 million in the first quarter of its fiscal year, according to budget figures.

The system had budgeted revenues to be greater than operating expenses for the July through September 2011 quarter, and the first quarter of the previous fiscal year saw gains of nearly $39,000, according to financial statements.

However, Erlanger President and CEO Jim Brexler isn't worried about the numbers.

Brexler said after Monday's budget and finance committee meeting that the July through September quarter is historically the most challenging for the health system financially.

In the winter, there tend to be more hospitalizations because of illnesses related to colder weather, he said.

Month to month during the quarter there were fluctuations. After Erlanger saw gains in August, operating expenses were greater than revenue in September.

"We don't worry about the individual month," Brexler said.

Brexler compared the ups and downs in the monthly financial data to daily changes in stock prices.

The full Erlanger board will meet Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at the hospital.

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