Coming days key to Erlanger health as CEO embarks on quest for cash
CHATTANOOGA, TN (Times Free Press) -
Among public hospitals throughout the country, Erlanger Health System
provides the greatest amount of safety-net care for the least amount of
local government funding, a national public hospital association has
"I've never seen anything quite like it -- just the lack of support
versus the huge size of mission," said Dr. Bruce Siegel, the president
of America's Essential Hospitals, a national advocate for public
hospitals that tracks their funding.
While the average public hospital tracked by the organization
receives $121 million from local governments, Erlanger's $1.5 million
from Hamilton County is the only local public funding it can pit against
what is expected to be $92 million in regional uncompensated care this
Most hospitals receiving minimal local funds can turn to federally
backed state funds meant for safety-net care. But Tennessee lost access
to those dollars at the end of last year.