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Losses mount at Hutcheson Medical Center

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Photo by Ashlee Culverhouse / Times Free Press Photo by Ashlee Culverhouse / Times Free Press

FORT OGLETHORPE, GA (Times Free Press) -- After several months of improving finances, Erlanger at Hutcheson lost nearly $1.8 million in March, its worst numbers since September.

The Georgia hospital had budgeted to lose $350,000 in March. It has lost nearly $15 million since Erlanger Health System took over its management at the end of May.

The public hospital, governed by Catoosa, Walker and Dade counties, has used $9.9 million of a $20 million line of credit from Erlanger. The line of credit is backed up by Hutcheson's mortgage and two $10 million pledges by Catoosa and Walker counties.

During a finance committee meeting Wednesday, Hutcheson Controller Denise Baker told hospital trustees that the losses were because of a large number of nonpaying patients. In March, the hospital saw the highest percentage of uninsured patients since May 2011.

Read more on the story from our news partners at the Chattanooga Times Free Press.

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