Erlanger posts 'unprecedented' $12.7M profit

Chattanooga, Tenn.-based Erlanger Health System has posted a $12.7 million profit for the second quarter of fiscal year 2015 and $20.4 million for the year-to-date.

Erlanger Chief Financial Officer Britt Tabor, who called the second quarter earnings "unprecedented," made the announcement this week during his second quarter earnings report to the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Hospital Authority's Budget and Finance Committee, according to a news release.

"Although this is one of Erlanger's most aggressive budgets, we have exceeded our year-to-date budget by $13.6 million and the prior year by $22 million for the first six months of this fiscal year," Mr. Tabor announced.   

The news comes amid Erlanger's financial turnaround.

Mr. Tabor noted this week that Erlanger posted negative second quarter earnings 10 times in the past 15 years and that "we had a $26 million improvement comparing fiscal year 2013 to fiscal year 2014," according to a news release.

He attributed the success to a focus on top line growth and bottom line cost management.

"This huge accomplishment represents a lot of hard work and reflects the impact of strategic business growth and cost management initiatives over the past 12 months," he said in the release. "The numbers for our second quarter clearly demonstrate the upward trend with growth in volumes and sustained positive financial performance at Erlanger. The strategic plan put in place during the last year will help Erlanger for the foreseeable future and provide the platform for Erlanger to invest in this community unlike any other time."

According to the release, Mr. Tabor also noted this week that Erlanger has "already provided over $43 million in uncompensated care to this community during the first six months of our fiscal year"; admissions the past three months were 10.4 percent over budget and 10.5 percent greater than last year, days of cash-on-hand at the end of last month was 94 days; surgical inpatient volume was 4.1 percent over budget and 8.7 percent higher than last year; and emergency room visits were 11 percent over budget and 9.7 percent higher than last year.   

This week, Erlanger President and CEO Kevin M. Spiegel, FACHE and Mr. Tabor also presented a report that outlines their focus on "both cost management and strategic growth initiatives this fiscal year, which was the cornerstone of subsequent meetings with major investors and Wall Street in November," according to a news release.

"This focus on sustainable growth led to an infusion of $71 million in new money from bond sales, created $35 million of cash flow savings over 10 years, and enabled Erlanger to move forward with key strategic projects this year," the release reads.

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