Connecticut Seal

General Assembly

 

Raised Bill No. 5257

February Session, 2014

 

LCO No. 1147

 

*01147_______LAB*

Referred to Committee on LABOR AND PUBLIC EMPLOYEES

 

Introduced by:

 

(LAB)

 

AN ACT CONCERNING HOSPITAL EMPLOYEES AND HOSPITAL CONVERSIONS.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. (NEW) (Effective from passage) (a) As used in this section and section 2 of this act:

(1) "Affected community" means the city or town in which a nonprofit hospital is located and the cities or towns whose inhabitants are regularly served by a nonprofit hospital;

(2) "Conversion" means any transfer by a person or persons of the assets or operation of a nonprofit hospital to a person or persons that is organized or operated for profit, that results in (A) a change in the ownership, control or possession of not less than twenty per cent of (i) the voting rights or interests in the nonprofit hospital, or (ii) the assets of the nonprofit hospital; (B) a person previously unaffiliated with the nonprofit hospital possessing not less than ten per cent of (i) the voting rights or interests in the nonprofit hospital, or (ii) the assets of the nonprofit hospital; or (C) the removal, addition or substitution of a person holding an ownership or membership interest in the nonprofit hospital that results in a previously unaffiliated person gaining or acquiring a controlling interest or controlling vote in the nonprofit hospital;

(3) "Nonprofit hospital" has the same meaning as provided in section 19a-486 of the general statutes;

(4) "Person" means any individual, trust or estate, firm, partnership, corporation, limited liability company or other entity, including the state and any political subdivision thereof; and

(5) "Transfer" has the same meaning as provided in section 19a-486 of the general statutes.

(b) Prior to undergoing a conversion, the nonprofit hospital and the person or persons seeking the assets or operation or a change in control of operations of the nonprofit hospital shall enter into a written memorandum of understanding to preserve community benefits in the affected community. The memorandum of understanding shall require the person or persons seeking the assets or operation or a change in control of operations of the nonprofit hospital to: (1) Maintain the current rates of pay and current benefits of all employees employed at the nonprofit hospital at the time of conversion; (2) recognize any labor organizations representing employees employed at the nonprofit hospital at the time of conversion; (3) honor any collective bargaining agreements entered into between a labor organization and the nonprofit hospital; (4) maintain staffing levels at the time of conversion for not less than three years following the date the Attorney General and Commissioner of Public Health have approved the conversion pursuant to section 19a-486b of the general statutes; and (5) follow best practices for staffing levels to assure patient care and safety.

(c) Prior to undergoing a conversion, the city or town in which the nonprofit hospital is located shall hold not less than three public hearings. The public hearings shall be open to all members of the public in the affected community and shall include, but not be limited to: (1) A discussion of the conversion and the person or persons seeking the assets or operation or a change in control of operations of the nonprofit hospital; (2) a summary of the potential impact of the proposed conversion on employment at the nonprofit hospital; and (3) an opportunity to question representatives of the nonprofit hospital and the person or persons seeking the assets or operation or a change in control of operations of the nonprofit hospital about any relevant concerns. Not less than fourteen days prior to each hearing, notice of the time and place of the hearing shall be publicized in one or more newspapers of general circulation in the affected community. Each public hearing shall take place at least sixty days before a certificate of need application is filed with the Department of Public Health pursuant to section 19a-486a of the general statutes.

Sec. 2. (NEW) (Effective from passage) Not later than thirty days after undergoing a conversion, the person or persons having acquired possession of the assets or operation of the former nonprofit hospital shall submit a five-year strategic plan to the Department of Public Health and the Labor Department detailing how employment may be affected by decisions to grow or reduce health care services at the hospital.

This act shall take effect as follows and shall amend the following sections:

Section 1

from passage

New section

Sec. 2

from passage

New section

Statement of Purpose:

To educate and protect hospital workers and community members who may be subject to a hospital conversion by requiring a series of public hearings and requiring any group seeking to acquire a nonprofit hospital conversion to commit to certain staffing requirements prior to initiating the acquisition.

[Proposed deletions are enclosed in brackets. Proposed additions are indicated by underline, except that when the entire text of a bill or resolution or a section of a bill or resolution is new, it is not underlined.]