published Tuesday, May 21st, 2013

Erlanger improves, but still reports $249,000 loss

FISCAL YEAR 2012

July: $1.8 million loss

August: $2 million profit

September: $906,000 loss

October: $730,000 profit

November: $726,527 profit

December: $1.1 million loss

January: $541,232 profit

February: $2.5 million loss

March: $4.9 million loss

April: $249,000 loss

INDIGENT CARE

Ten months into the fiscal year, Erlanger has provided more than $62.4 million in uncompensated care, $5.7 million of which was provided in March.

Erlanger Health System found better financial footing in April than it did in months prior, but the hospital still fell short of its budget — reporting a $249,000 loss at its monthly budget and finance committee meeting Monday.

The numbers looked significantly better after a disappointing March, when the hospital reported about $5 million in losses. Last year, the hospital lost $717,000 during the month of April.

Chief financial officer Britt Tabor told the committee that April's margin was "pretty much break even," though he acknowledged it was still not where the hospital wanted to be.

"This could have been a home-run month, if we had managed our expenses better," said hospital CEO Kevin Spiegel, who arrived April 1.

The committee discussed trying to reign-in staffing and salary expenses that Tabor said needed to be better managed from hour to hour.

So far this year, the hospital is $9.6 million in the red. That's a little over half of the deficit it was running at this time last year, but board members have voiced concern about whether the hospital will be able to meet its bond covenants this year.

Hospital leaders will meet with bondholders next week to present an annual update.

"We have about 100 slides detailing our financial position and our future outlook," said Spiegel, who emphasized focusing on the hospital's positive role in the community.

He added that negative press could impact the bondholder's view of the hospital.

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