Draft Legislation

A BILL TO BE ENTITLED AN ACT

To amend Article 4 of Chapter 7 of Title 31 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to county and municipal hospital authorities, so as to enact the “Public Hospital Accountability Act of 2008”; to require that county hospital authorities contract with nonprofit corporations for the operation and management of certain hospitals; to provide for related matters; to provide for an effective date; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA:

SECTION 1.

This Act shall be known and may be referred to as the “Public Hospital Accountability Act of 2008.”

SECTION 2.

Article 4 of Chapter 7 of Title 31 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to county and municipal hospital authorities, is amended by adding a new Code section to read as follows:

” 31-7-74.4.
(a) As used in this Code section, the term ‘nonprofit corporation’ means any nonprofit corporation qualified as exempt from federal income taxation under Section 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code.
(b) On and after July 1, 2008, a hospital authority representing one or more counties which has a hospital which has a bed capacity of more than 800 beds shall provide, by contract, for the management and operation by a nonprofit corporation of all of its hospitals.
(c) The board of the nonprofit corporation shall consist of 12 members. The initial board members shall be appointed as follows:
(1) The hospital authority shall appoint:
(A) One physician, who is licensed under Chapter 34 of Title 43, has medical staff privileges at the hospital, and resides in one of the counties served by the hospital authority, who shall serve an initial term of three years;
(B) One nonphysician employee of the hospital, who resides in one of the counties served by the hospital authority, who shall serve an initial term of three years;
(C) Two executives or consultants with experience in hospital management, who shall each serve an initial term of two years;
(D) The chief executive officer of the hospital, who shall serve a one-year term; and
(E) One patient advocate, who shall serve an initial term of two years;
(2) The Governor shall appoint:
(A) The commissioner of community health, who shall serve a one-year term; and
(B) One individual with expertise in budget analysis, who shall serve an initial term of two years;
(3) The Speaker of the House of Representatives shall appoint:
(A) One taxpayer advocate, who resides in one of the counties served by the hospital authority, who shall serve an initial term of three years; and
(B) One executive or consultant with experience in corporate restructuring, who shall serve an initial term of one year; and
(4) The Lieutenant Governor shall appoint:
(A) One taxpayer advocate, who resides in one of the counties served by the hospital authority, who shall serve an initial term of three years; and
(B) One executive or consultant with experience in corporate restructuring, who shall serve an initial term of one year. A member shall serve until his or her successor has been duly appointed. Following the terms of the initial members, all successors shall be appointed by the remaining majority of the board for a term of three years and until their respective successors are duly appointed and qualified. Except as provided for in subsection (d) of this Code section, successor members shall have any qualifications deemed appropriate by the board.
(d)(1) No individual serving on the board, either as an initial or subsequent member, or any immediate family member of such individual, shall receive payments from the board as an employee, contractor, consultant, or vendor. No individual shall be eligible to serve as a board member if his or her employer, or if self-employed, his or her client, received more than $5,000.00 per year in payments from the hospital during the previous calendar year. This subsection shall also apply to officers and board members of corporations receiving more than $5,000.00 per year in payments from the hospital during the previous calendar year. This subsection shall not apply to the physician or nonphysician hospital employee members appointed as initial members of the board pursuant to paragraph (1) of subsection (c) of this Code section or to any subsequent members who are physicians or nonphysician hospital employees; provided, however, that the number of physician and nonphysician hospital employee members shall never exceed two.
(2) Each member of the board shall file an annual financial disclosure statement listing any payments from, compensation by, or ownership interests in entities that receive more than $5,000.00 per year from the hospital during the previous calendar year. The State Ethics Commission shall act as custodian of such disclosure statements, promulgate rules and regulations for their issuance, and shall be authorized to punish violations of this subsection with fines not to exceed $10,000.00 and removal from the board.
(3) This subsection shall be cumulative to any conflict of interest provisions applicable to board members contained in Chapter 3 of Title 14, the ‘Georgia Nonprofit Corporation Code.'”

SECTION 3.

This Act shall become effective upon its approval by the Governor or upon its becoming law without such approval.

SECTION 4.

All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed.

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