Chattanooga, TN — Erlanger’s President and CEO, Kevin M. Spiegel, FACHE, recently met with Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam in Nashville, and US Congressman Chuck Fleischmann in Washington, D.C., to advocate on behalf of Erlanger, focusing on Erlanger’s critical role as the region’s only safety net hospital, Level 1 Trauma Center and teaching facility.
Mr. Spiegel continued to stress the importance of Erlanger gaining access to the Public Hospital Supplemental Pool (PHSP) which has excluded Erlanger since the Tennessee fund became available in 2010. Currently only two public hospitals in the state, Nashville General and The Med in Memphis, have access to this $70 million payment pool for public hospitals. Mr. Spiegel has repeatedly questioned state and federal officials why these funds were only made available to Middle and West Tennessee public hospitals, and not to Erlanger.
For Erlanger to be added to this payment pool, the state would require approval from the federal government to amend the TennCare waiver, which is an agreement between the state and federal government on how the program is administered.
In his meetings with Governor Haslam and Congressman Fleischmann, Mr. Spiegel discussed the negative financial impact on Erlanger if TennCare is not expanded and if Erlanger’s access to supplemental funds continues to be blocked. He also assured the elected officials that Erlanger, like Vanderbilt, was making a number of significant moves to reduce costs, and adopt a more fiscally prudent and streamlined approach to operations.