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Hutcheson (GA) Medical Center sees improvement, but still losing money

Chattanooga Times Free Press, July 14, 2011

Hutcheson Medical Center's financial losses weren't quite as bad in May as they've been for the last year, but the number still is likely to cause some double takes -- $888,960. The publicly funded North Georgia hospital had reported several consecutive million-dollar monthly losses and laid off dozens of employees before Erlanger Health System agreed in May to manage Hutcheson and offer the struggling hospital up to $20 million in credit. Hutcheson had savings from April's 75 layoffs -- the hospital paid $1 million less in salaries than it did in May 2010 -- but trustees and top executives said the hospital has a long way to go. "I'm just happy there's improvement," said Bill Chapin, the CEO of Rock City who serves on various Hutcheson boards. Erlanger President/CEO Jim Brexler has pushed to "rebuild the physician base," claiming it's the way to avoid layoffs and revitalize Hutcheson.