published Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

Erlanger at Hutcheson moves into black — barely

  • photo
    Chattanooga Times Free Press file photo of Erlanger at Hutcheson building.
    Photo by Doug Strickland /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

After more than three years and millions of dollars in losses, Erlanger at Hutcheson reported its first profits in July.

It was a small profit -- $82,000 -- and did not include losses posted at the North Georgia hospital's clinics, but officials hailed it as a sign that the beleagured public hospital is turning a corner. Hospital officials reported the figures during a monthly finance meeting Monday.

"We are actively recruiting and hiring new physicians and medical providers," Hutcheson CEO Roger Forgey said in a news release Monday. "We expect to see hospital revenues stabilize as a result of these additional services and are very pleased with our progress so far."

The July financial report showed increases in patients served, births, surgeries and outpatient visits compared with the same time last year.

The hospital lost nearly $10 million in the first nine months of the fiscal year, which began in November, and even more the previous year. In May 2011, Erlanger Health System took over management of the hospital and extended a $20 million line of credit to Hutcheson.

Since Forgey was named CEO earlier this year, the hospital has added several outpatient medical providers and other services.

The losses at clinics were because of employment and startup expenses that had not been included in the 2012 budget, hospital officials said.

The hospital now operates more than six clinics, spokeswoman Stacey Kaufmann said.

about Mariann Martin...

Mariann Martin covers healthcare in Chattanooga and the surrounding region. She joined the Times Free Press in February 2011, after covering crime and courts for the Jackson (Tenn.) Sun for two years. Mariann was born in Indiana, but grew up in Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Belize. She graduated from Union University in 2005 with degrees in English and history and has master’s degrees in international relations and history from the University of Toronto. While attending Union, ...

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