ALBANY — Following a brief closed session, the Hospital Authority of Albany-Dougherty County approved on Thursday a motion to initiate a request for proposals for a lease analysis based on recommendations brought to the Hospital Authority from a newly-formed ad hoc committee that will look into what the scope of the analysis should be.

Dr. Michael Laslie was the only member to vote against the motion. Dr. Tania Smith, Glenn Singfield and Vice Chairman Joel Callins were appointed to the ad hoc committee.

The action taken was the next step in a process that started in May 2018. Hospital Authority Chairman Fred Ghiglieri mentioned at the time the issue of a cost analysis after determining that it had been 2007 since the last analysis was made public.

An analysis was completed in 2012 and was discussed in a closed session of the authority.

A lease analysis ad hoc committee that consisted of Ghiglieri, Sharon “Nyota” Tucker and Dr. Kathy Hudson was created several months ago to examine the benchmarks of what other authorities do.

In terms of transparency, the committee’s findings were that the Hospital Authority makes more information publicly available than most. In many cases, notes and board members are not listed, and there may be no term limits for members.

“I think what we tell the public (on our website) is ‘A+,’” Ghiglieri said. “There are a lot of examples out there and some don’t meet the basic authority law.”

Tucker said there were no best practices standards found for lease analysis.

“I think this body is the only one that has a standard that is followed,” she said.

The committee did not recommend a lease analysis, but Tucker said that an independent review for quality care, cost and safety made sense.

“I don’t think we can do our job as a hospital without that objective review,” she said. “I think we will be pleased with the results. If not, it gives us information to go in the right direction.

“I don’t think the community understands (what we do).”

Following a training session in April, a training ad hoc committee — including District 3 Dougherty County Commissioner Clinton Johnson, Callins and Ferrell Moultrie — came back Thursday and recommended training for authority members when there are three new board members or when a member has gone five years without one.

Tucker asked for an amendment making it possible to have a training session when there is an unforeseen circumstance, and a board member expresses that training may be needed and a majority vote approves. The authority greenlit that measure unanimously.

Brian Church, chief financial officer for Phoebe Putney Health System, gave a review of the Hospital Authority’s financial statements as of June 30 from Fiscal Year 2019. The authority had $106,386 in total assets at that time, and $29,500 of total operating revenue.

Operating expenses included $28,317 in professional services — including legal fees, audit fees and consultant fees — and $266 in purchased services, which includes bank account fees.

The authority approved its budget for FY 2020 that ends July 31 of next year. The budget calls for $40,000 in operating revenue.

The additional business of the Hospital Authority included:

♦ Review of the recently-approved community needs assessment for Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital. An implementation plan is expected in November;

♦ Presentation of Phoebe’s budget for Fiscal Year 2020;

♦ Review of a plan on how Phoebe is expecting to comply with House Bill 321, which will likely involve the hospital putting all of the information required as part of the bill on one central site. By Oct. 1, each Georgia hospital is expected to post a link in a prominent location on the main page of its website with the most recent version of several documents, much of which is financial information;

♦ Review of the open payments website, openpaymentsdata.cms.gov♦ , which discloses the value of goods and services doctors receive, primarily from manufacturers;

♦ Update on Phoebe’s trauma center designation process. A trauma surgeon begins work this month, installation of the helipad is expected to start in October, a program development coordinator has been engaged and interviews are ongoing for trauma manager.

Staff Writer

I'm a 2007 graduate of Georgia Southern University, and I've been a reporter for The Albany Herald since 2008. I cover news related to health care, Marine Corps Logistics Base-Albany, SOWEGA Council on Aging and other areas as assigned.

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