Phoebe Board, Hospital Authority discuss legal matters

Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital

Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital

ALBANY, Ga. -- The Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital Board, as well as the Hospital Authority of Albany-Dougherty County, both had special called meetings on Tuesday, primarily held behind closed doors.

The hospital board meeting started just after noon and soon went into closed session before re-opening and adjourning at 1:30 p.m. The Hospital Authority met at 4:30 p.m., with that meeting flowing much the same way as the other one, with the closed session beginning almost immediately and going on until just before adjournment at around 5:30 p.m.

Both meetings, conducted in the Willson Board Room of Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital, had single items on their agendas. All officials would say regarding the business of the meetings was that they were held so both boards could seek legal consultation.

The motion from the Hospital Authority's agenda read "... (D)iscuss with Authority legal counsel pending and potential claims and litigation as well as other legally confidential matters."

No action was taken at either meeting.

The meetings took place as recent court orders have blocked the further integration of the Phoebe North Campus with its sister hospital pending the results of an administrative trial set to commence on Aug. 5 in Washington, D.C.

The most recent development from the ongoing storyline was the filing of a court order in which the Hospital Authority and Phoebe Putney Health System agreed to halt the integration of the former Palmyra Medical Center with Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital while an administrative law judge considered a Federal Trade Commission complaint challenging the merger.

In the federal court order, entered by U.S. District Judge W. Louis Sands last week, Phoebe officials also agreed to maintain the viability of Phoebe North until the completion of a full administrative trial on the merits and all related appeals, extending a similar temporary restraining order issued by the District Court on May 15.