published Thursday, May 24th, 2012

Erlanger at Hutcheson hospital losses surge

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

BY THE NUMBERS

Erlanger at Hutcheson losses

• $1,854,553: July

• $1,797,162: August

• $2,653,937: September

• $1,619,602: October

• $1,081,867: November

• $894,354: December

• $982,953: January

• $1,083,383: February

• $1,767,773: March

• $1,919,832: April

Source: Erlanger at Hutcheson

Erlanger losses

$17,892,044: July 2011-April 2012

Source: Erlanger Health System

The two public hospitals in the Chattanooga area have lost more than $33.5 million since July 1, with both reporting additional losses this week.

At a monthly finance committee meeting Wednesday, Erlanger at Hutcheson officials told trustees the hospital lost $1.9 million in April, bringing its losses since July to $15.7 million.

The hospital had budgeted to lose $1.7 million in April.

Stacey Kaufmann, administrator of physician services and communications with the Fort Oglethorpe hospital, said coming in close to budget -- even if it was a loss -- is an improvement.

"We had expected to have a loss, and we will continue to have losses," Kaufmann said. "But it is an improvement from where we were earlier this year."

In the same time period, Erlanger Health System lost $17.9 million.

Erlanger, in Chattanooga, took over management of Hutcheson at the end of May last year after Hutcheson defaulted on a $35 million bond issue.

At the time, Erlanger extended a $20 million line of credit to Hutcheson, with the Georgia hospital using $11.4 million of that money so far. The line of credit is backed up by Hutcheson's mortgage and $10 million pledges from both Catoosa and Walker counties.

Both Hutcheson and Erlanger have had several rounds of layoffs in the last year. Officials from the two hospitals have said they expect to see numbers improve.

At Wednesday's meeting, Hutcheson CEO Roger Forgey told board members that March numbers included some quarterly expenses -- quarterly bonus payments to clinic doctors.

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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