Dorough requests hospital records

Bo Dorough

Bo Dorough

ALBANY, Ga. -- Albany attorney and former Albany city commissioner Bo Dorough has submitted an open records request under Georgia's Open Records Act to the Dougherty County Commission seeking financial documents relating to Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital and the Hospital Authority of Albany-Dougherty County.

County Attorney Spencer Lee told commissioners about the requests at Monday's meeting of the Dougherty County Commission. He recommended contacting Hospital Authority Attorney Jay Reynolds to assist in providing the information requested.

Specifically, Dorough is asking for detailed financial statements from Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital and/or Phoebe Putney Health System for 2004 through the present and reports detailing the activities of the Hospital Authority for the same time period.

Dorough told The Albany Herald on Monday that he wasn't yet ready to comment on the situation, but wanted to review the information.

Phoebe, the authority and Hospital Corporation of America -- the parent company of Palmyra Medical Centers -- have each been barred temporarily by U.S. District Court Judge Louis Sands from proceeding with the sale and purchase of Palmyra at the request of the Federal Trade Commission.

The FTC voted unanimously to proceed with actions to try to block the sale of Palmyra to Phoebe until it can have the transaction reviewed in September by an administrative law judge, arguing in its complaint to the court that Phoebe would monopolize health care services in the area and cause medical costs to skyrocket.

Sands ordered the injunction until Wednesday to allow for Phoebe to respond and the FTC to justify why the injunction should be kept in place until its proceedings set for September.

Phoebe CEO Joel Wernick has stated multiple times that the $195 million acquisition is necessary to accommodate a growing need for beds at Phoebe and that the decision to expand the hospital has boiled down simply to a "build or buy" scenario.