Operations Of County Public Hospitals
Current law allows the residents of any county to present their board of county commissioners with a petition asking that a public hospital board of trustees (hospital board) be appointed and that an annual tax be levied for the establishment and maintenance of a public hospital in the county. The board of county commissioners may create, by resolution, a hospital board to levy the tax and may appropriate money to the hospital board for purchasing or building a hospital and for maintaining the hospital. The bill makes the following changes regarding hospital boards:
- Currently, a hospital board in a county with a population of less than 3,000 consists of 5 citizens at large. The bill allows the board of county commissioners of a county with a population of less than 3,000 to determine, by a resolution of the board of county commissioners, that the hospital board will consist of 7, rather than 5, citizens at large and specifies the length of the terms of the additional hospital board trustees.
- Currently, if a hospital board acquires real property, title to the real property must be in the name of the county. The bill authorizes real property to be in the name of either the county or the hospital.
- A hospital board has the authority to borrow money and incur indebtedness. The bill clarifies that any indebtedness incurred by a hospital board is an obligation of the hospital board and not an obligation of the board of county commissioners.
- Currently, a hospital board must have the approval of the board of county commissioners before incurring indebtedness. The bill specifies that a hospital board needs the approval of the board of county commissioners before incurring indebtedness only if the repayment of the indebtedness is dependent on tax money received for hospital purposes from the board of county commissioners.
- The bill allows a hospital board to offer to the general public products and services of any health care organization, association, partnership, or corporation to the extent that the products and services are consistent with the powers and duties of a county public hospital; and
- Each year, the board of county commissioners may appropriate not more than 5% of its general fund for the improvement or enlargement of any public hospital established in the county. The bill removes the annual 5% limit on appropriations from a county's general fund and also allows such money to be used for the operation of a public hospital.
(Note: Italicized words indicate new material added to the original summary; dashes through words indicate deletions from the original summary.)
(Note: This summary applies to the reengrossed version of this bill as introduced in the second house.)