Letter from Senator David Shafer

August 15, 2007

Dear Colleague:

Enclosed is a draft of the proposed Public Hospital Accountability Act of 2008.  It is my intention to introduce this legislation in the next Legislative Session of the Georgia General Assembly.

This bill would amend the Hospital Authorities Law by requiring county hospital authorities with hospitals having more than 800 beds to contract with a nonprofit corporation for the management of its hospital system.  The bill also provides for creation of the nonprofit hospital management corporation and adopts standards of governance, including strong conflict-of-interest provisions.

This nonprofit form of management is almost universally recognized as the most efficient and effective way to manage a large urban public hospital.  It is widely used throughout the country and has been voluntarily adopted by every other county hospital authority in the metro Atlanta area.  The lone holdout is the Fulton-DeKalb Hospital Authority, which operates Grady Hospital and Grady Health System.

Our Lieutenant Governor has expressed what he and I both believe to be the clear will of the Senate that such a change in governance must be made before any consideration of funding for Grady.  The Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce’s Grady Task Force has recommended this change, and The Atlanta Journal Constitution has editorially endorsed it.

I am interested in your comments concerning the proposed legislation and would invite you to join me in cosponsoring it.  Additional information about the bill is available at https://www.reforminggrady.org.

Very truly yours,

David J. Shafer
State Senator, District 48


cc:    Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle