< back to Board of Trustees

The Future of Erlanger Health System

A strong, sustainable Erlanger Health System is an essential part of the Chattanooga region’s future. Even as we continue to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, we must explore what the future of healthcare looks like in the Chattanooga region. 

Our Vision of the Future

The Erlanger board of Trustees is paving the way for a brighter, more secure future for our patients, physicians, employees and the communities we serve. 

Led by the Board, we are moving forward to explore transitioning to an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, which we believe will help ensure the future of our organization is bright.

Our Challenges

While Erlanger Health System has continued to provide high-quality healthcare, we face significant, ongoing challenges to be able to continue meeting our mission in the future.

Our challenges are well documented and include:

Funding critical strategic initiatives needed to meet our mission

Recruiting and retaining providers and staff

Funding for necessary capital infrastructure investments

Managing the costs of the uncompensated care we provide, which currently represents an annual cost impact of $90 million

Why now?

Our structure as a governmental entity limits our ability to succeed in the ever-changing healthcare marketplace.

As more services move to outpatient settings, we must explore restructuring to become more efficient and remain competitive.

As the community’s only safety-net hospital, we take care of the sickest of the sick. Much of that care is often high-cost, and reimbursement covers less than the cost of care.

As the region’s safety-net hospital, we care for all patients—regardless of their ability to pay. Our commitment to our mission is as strong as ever.

The independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization structure would help ensure a stronger financial position, and enhance our ability to invest in our people and care for our patients and communities.

Changing our structure would have meaningful benefits

We can enhance clinical excellence and outcomes to benefit patients by: 

Driving better patient experience and revenue through service line collaboration

Attracting and retaining high-caliber clinicians and caregivers

Leveraging expertise and integration of independent and employed clinicians

Securing and potentially expanding our teaching mission

An evolution can help to ensure financial sustainability and performance by:

Giving us added flexibility to explore partnerships that are right for our community

Enhancing patient outcomes that result in better reimbursement models and financial performance

Positioning the organization for new and additional access to capital

Our Commitment to Quality remains steadfast

Our Commitment to Quality remains steadfast

Continue to provide the best quality care with expert caregivers while increasing our service offerings and access points in the future.

Improve the patient experience, while investing in facilities, equipment and technology.

Fulfill our mission as the region’s safety-net hospital, while working to improve the overall health of our community.

Our mission calls us to do everything we can to ensure the best possible future for this vital community pillar.