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The Florida Statutes

The 2017 Florida Statutes

Title XI
COUNTY ORGANIZATION AND INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS
Chapter 155
HOSPITALS
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CHAPTER 155
CHAPTER 155
HOSPITALS
155.01 County commissioners may act as trustees of stock of hospitals.
155.02 Rule against perpetuities inapplicable.
155.03 Duties of county commissioners.
155.04 County hospitals; petition; election; establishment.
155.05 County hospitals; establishment without election.
155.06 County hospitals; trustees; appointment, terms.
155.07 County hospitals; organization; officers; powers; bonds; travel expenses.
155.08 County hospitals; seal; evidence.
155.09 County hospitals; secretary and treasurer; minutes; accounts; public inspection; bond.
155.10 County hospitals; rules and regulations.
155.11 County hospitals; deposit of moneys; payments.
155.12 County hospitals; general powers of trustees; duties; tax levies; etc.
155.13 County hospitals; vacancies in trustees.
155.14 County hospitals; bonds; maturities; interest; etc.
155.15 County hospitals; procuring lands for hospital.
155.16 County hospitals; residents; nonresidents; fees; contagious diseases; etc.
155.17 County hospitals; rules for physicians, nurses, etc.
155.18 County hospitals; discrimination against doctors; etc.
155.19 County hospitals; training school for nurses.
155.20 County hospitals; charity patients; hospital charges.
155.21 County hospitals; donations; etc.
155.22 County hospitals; purposes are public.
155.23 County hospitals; federal loans, aid, etc.
155.24 County hospitals; additional funds.
155.25 Levy authorized for county hospital purposes.
155.40 Sale or lease of county, district, or municipal hospital; effect of sale.
155.401 Power of special taxing district to appropriate proceeds from sale or lease of hospital or health care system to economic development trust fund.
155.4011 Conflicts.
155.41 Exceptions for sales or leases.
155.45 Retirement annuities authorized.
155.01 County commissioners may act as trustees of stock of hospitals.Whenever the owners of a majority of the outstanding capital stock of a corporation created for and engaged solely in the operation of a hospital shall execute a trust deed, or deeds, conveying a majority of the capital stock of such corporation to the board of county commissioners of the county in which such hospital is located, in trust to be held and administered by such board of county commissioners as trustees with authority to vote said stock at all meetings of the stockholders of such corporation and to expend all dividends declared upon such stock in the hospitalization of the indigent citizens of the county who need hospital treatment, with provisions that should the properties of such corporation cease for a period of 6 months to be used primarily for hospital purposes or should the hospital so maintained be not maintained open to the practice of all duly licensed physicians and surgeons resident in the county where the same is located that the trust shall then, but not before, be terminated and the ownership of the stock so placed in trust shall revert to the respective persons executing the trust deed, or deeds, their heirs, legatees or assigns; the board of county commissioners may accept such trust and act as trustee thereunder.
History.s. 1, ch. 17834, 1937; CGL 1940 Supp. 2934(28).
155.02 Rule against perpetuities inapplicable.No such trust shall be invalid by reason of the rule against perpetuities nor shall the rights of the persons creating the same, their heirs, legatees or assigns, to receive back their stock upon the termination of said trust be impaired or denied by reason of any application of the statutes of uses or the rule against perpetuities.
History.s. 2, ch. 17834, 1937; CGL 1940 Supp. 2934(29).
155.03 Duties of county commissioners.Should the board of county commissioners accept such trust, it shall administer the same until the termination of the trust; providing, however, that nothing herein shall require the board of county commissioners to expend any funds of the county in the maintenance of such hospital or the administration of such trust.
History.s. 3, ch. 17834, 1937; CGL 1940 Supp. 2934(30).
155.04 County hospitals; petition; election; establishment.
(1) Whenever the board of county commissioners of any county in the state shall be presented with a petition signed by 5 percent of the resident freeholders of such county, asking that an annual tax may be levied for the establishment and maintenance of a public hospital at a place in the county named therein, and shall specify in said petition the maximum amount of money proposed to be expended in purchasing or building said hospital, such board of county commissioners shall submit the question to the qualified electors of the county who are freeholders at the next general election to be held in the county, or at a special election called for that purpose, first giving 30 days’ notice thereof in one or more newspapers published in the county, if any be published therein, or posting written or printed notices in each precinct of the county, which notice shall include the text of the petition and state the amount of the tax to be levied upon the assessed property of the said county which tax shall not exceed 5 mills on the dollar, and be for the issue of the county bonds, to provide funds for the purchase of the site, or sites, and the erection thereon of a public hospital and hospital buildings, and for the support of same, which bonds shall be payable within 30 years, which said election shall be held at the usual places in such county for voting upon county officers, and shall be canvassed in the same manner as the vote for the county officers is canvassed. The ballots to be used in any election at which such hospital question is submitted, shall be printed with a statement substantially as follows:

For a   mill tax for a bond issue for a public hospital, and for maintenance of same:

YES  

NO  

(2) If a majority of the freeholders who are qualified electors shall participate in said election and a majority of the votes cast at such election on the proposition so submitted shall be in favor of said tax for such bond issue, the board of county commissioners shall levy a tax so authorized, which shall be collected in the same manner as other taxes are collected, and credited to the hospital fund, and shall be paid out on the order of the hospital trustees for the purposes authorized by this law, and for no other purposes whatever.
History.s. 1, ch. 20905, 1941; s. 1, ch. 26513, 1951.
155.05 County hospitals; establishment without election.If the county commissioners of any such county, by reason of funds on hand, or donations, or otherwise, are able to build and establish a public hospital without issuing bonds as provided in s. 155.04, then such board of county commissioners is hereby authorized and empowered to establish such public hospital and, without any election, to levy an annual tax for the maintenance thereof, such tax not to exceed 5 mills on the dollar and to be collected in the same manner as the tax provided for in s. 155.04.
History.s. 2, ch. 20905, 1941.
155.06 County hospitals; trustees; appointment, terms.Should a majority of all votes cast upon the question be in favor of establishing such county public hospital, or should the board of county commissioners of any county establish a county public hospital as provided in s. 155.05, the Governor of the state shall immediately proceed to appoint five trustees chosen from the citizens at large from such county, with reference to their fitness for such office, who shall constitute a board of trustees for said public hospital. On the original appointment of said trustees, two of said trustees shall be appointed for a term of 1 year, one for a term of 2 years, one for a term of 3 years, and one for a term of 4 years; and thereafter upon the expiration of said original appointments, their successors shall be appointed by the Governor of the state for terms of 4 years.
History.s. 3, ch. 20905, 1941.
155.07 County hospitals; organization; officers; powers; bonds; travel expenses.The said trustees shall, within 10 days after their appointment, qualify by taking the oath of office and organize a board of hospital trustees by the election of one of their members as chair and one as secretary and treasurer and by the election of such other officers as they deem necessary. Such chair shall be executive officer of the board of trustees and shall enforce and carry out all the orders of the board of trustees contained in resolutions duly adopted and entered on the minute books of the meetings of the board of trustees. The chair shall preside at all meetings and countersign all vouchers and warrants issued by the secretary and treasurer hereinafter provided for. In the absence of the chair, vouchers and warrants may be countersigned by any other member of the board of trustees selected by the members of the board of trustees as chair pro tem. In the absence of the chair and chair pro tem, vouchers and warrants may be countersigned by the hospital administrator or another full-time employee of the hospital as designated by the members of the board of trustees. The chair, chair pro tem, and such other full-time employees as may be designated by the members of the board of trustees to countersign warrants or vouchers shall give bonds in a sum to be fixed by the board of county commissioners for the faithful performance of their duties in some reputable bonding company authorized to do business in the state, and said bonds shall be made payable to the Governor of Florida and the Governor’s successors in office. No member of said board of trustees shall receive any compensation for services as such trustee, but shall be reimbursed for travel expenses as provided in s. 112.061.
History.s. 4, ch. 20905, 1941; s. 19, ch. 63-400; s. 1, ch. 76-21; s. 876, ch. 95-147.
155.08 County hospitals; seal; evidence.The board of trustees as herein constituted shall adopt a common seal, and certification under the seal of the board of hospital trustees, signed by the chair and attested by the secretary and treasurer, shall constitute sufficient evidence.
History.s. 5, ch. 20905, 1941; s. 877, ch. 95-147.
155.09 County hospitals; secretary and treasurer; minutes; accounts; public inspection; bond.The board of trustees shall elect from its members a secretary and treasurer whose duties it shall be to keep full and correct minutes of all the proceedings of the board of trustees, and keep a separate itemized account of all the expenditures and disbursements by said board of trustees. Said minutes and accounts shall be open to public inspection at any time on demand of any taxpayer in such district. The secretary and treasurer shall give bond in a sum to be fixed by the board of county commissioners for the faithful performance of his or her duties in some reputable bonding company authorized to do business in the state, and said bond shall be made payable to the Governor of Florida and the Governor’s successors in office.
History.s. 6, ch. 20905, 1941; s. 878, ch. 95-147.
155.10 County hospitals; rules and regulations.The board of trustees shall make and adopt such bylaws and rules and regulations for their own guidance and for the government of the hospital as may be deemed expedient for the economic and equitable conduct thereof, not inconsistent with this law, or the ordinance of the city or town wherein such hospital is located. They shall have exclusive control of the expenditures of all moneys collected to the credit of the hospital fund.
History.s. 7, ch. 20905, 1941.
155.11 County hospitals; deposit of moneys; payments.
(1) All moneys received for such hospital shall be deposited in any bank designated by the said board of trustees, and placed to the credit of the hospital fund and can be paid out only as bills for material supplies, equipment, wages, salaries, or other items of expense whatsoever shall have been audited by the secretary and treasurer and approved by a majority of the members of the board of trustees in regular session. When so approved by a majority of said members, upon vouchers issued by the secretary and treasurer, warrant may be drawn for same and when countersigned by the chair of said board of trustees or an individual designated by s. 155.07, shall be authenticated. Provided, it shall be unlawful to pay any money out of said hospital fund until the provisions of this section have been complied with.
(2) For the purpose of providing for the direct deposit of funds under the circumstances herein specified, the board of trustees is authorized to establish the form or forms of warrants, which are to be issued and countersigned as provided in this chapter, for payment or disbursement of moneys out of the hospital depository, and to change the form thereof from time to time as the board of trustees deems appropriate. If authorized in writing by the payee, county hospital warrants may provide for the direct deposit of funds to the account of the payee in any financial institution which is designated in writing by the payee and which has lawful authority to accept such deposits. The written authorization of the payee shall be filed with the board of trustees. Direct deposit of funds may be by any electronic or other medium approved by the board of trustees for such purpose.
(3) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the board of trustees or any agent authorized by the board who has the authority to deposit or withdraw funds is authorized to transfer funds from one depository to another or within a depository or to another institution, and may transfer funds wherein the transfer does not represent an expenditure, advance, or reduction of cash assets. Such transfer may be made by electronic, telephonic, or other medium; and each transfer shall be confirmed in writing and signed by the designee of the board.
History.s. 8, ch. 20905, 1941; s. 1, ch. 76-21; s. 7, ch. 78-406; s. 2, ch. 82-104; s. 879, ch. 95-147.
155.12 County hospitals; general powers of trustees; duties; tax levies; etc.The board of hospital trustees shall have power to appoint a suitable superintendent or matron, or both, and necessary assistants, and fix their compensation and shall also have power to remove such appointees and shall in general carry out the spirit and intent of this law in establishing and maintaining a county hospital. The board of hospital trustees shall hold meetings at least once each month and keep a complete record of all its transactions. Three members of said board shall be required to constitute a quorum for the transaction of business and two or more of said trustees shall visit and examine said hospital twice each month. The board shall, prior to July 1 of each year, file with the board of county commissioners of said county a report of their proceedings with reference to such hospital and a statement of all receipts and expenditures made during the year and shall certify to the said board of county commissioners the amount necessary for the improvement and maintenance of such public hospital, so established, during the ensuing year, and the said board of county commissioners shall, at its annual meeting for the purpose of determining the amount to be raised for all county purposes, levy a sufficient tax upon all the assessed value of the taxable property in the county as will produce the sum required by the said board of trustees’ report, but said hospital levy, together with the levy necessary to liquidate the bonds aforesaid, shall not exceed 10 mills on the assessed valuation. No trustee shall have a personal, pecuniary interest, either directly or indirectly, in the purchase of any supplies for said hospital, unless the same are purchased by competitive bidding.
History.s. 9, ch. 20905, 1941; s. 1, ch. 61-321; s. 2, ch. 76-21.
155.13 County hospitals; vacancies in trustees.Vacancies in the board of trustees occasioned by resignations, removal, or otherwise, shall be reported to the Governor of the state, who shall fill such vacancies in a like manner as the original appointments; appointees shall hold office for the remainder of the term in which the vacancy occurred.
History.s. 10, ch. 20905, 1941.
155.14 County hospitals; bonds; maturities; interest; etc.Whenever any county in this state shall have provided for the appointment of hospital trustees and has voted a tax for hospital purposes, as authorized by law, the said county shall issue bonds in anticipation of the collection of such tax in such sum and amounts as the board of hospital trustees shall certify to the board of county commissioners of said county to be necessary for the purpose contemplated by such tax, but such funds in the aggregate shall not exceed the amount which might be realized by said tax based on the amount which may be yielded on the property valuation of the year in which the tax is voted, and such bonds shall mature in not to exceed 30 years from date and shall be in sums of not less than $100, nor more than $1,000, drawing interest at a rate not exceeding 7.5 percent per annum, payable annually or semiannually; said bonds shall be payable at the pleasure of the county after 5 years and each of said bonds shall provide that it is subject to this condition and shall not be sold for less than provided by law for other county bonds and shall be substantially in the form provided for county bonds, but subject to changes that will conform them to the provisions of this law, and be numbered consecutively and redeemable in the order of their issue.
History.s. 11, ch. 20905, 1941; s. 2, ch. 26513, 1951; s. 8, ch. 73-302.
155.15 County hospitals; procuring lands for hospital.If the board of hospital trustees and the owners of any property desired by them for hospital purposes, cannot agree as to the price to be paid therefor, they shall report the facts to the board of county commissioners and condemnation proceedings shall be instituted by the said board of county commissioners and prosecuted in the name of the county by the attorney for the county commissioners of such county.
History.s. 12, ch. 20905, 1941.
155.16 County hospitals; residents; nonresidents; fees; contagious diseases; etc.Every hospital established under this law shall be for the benefit of the inhabitants of such county and of any person falling sick or being injured or maimed within its limits, but the board of hospital trustees may extend the privileges and use of such hospital to persons residing outside of such county upon terms and conditions as such board of trustees may from time to time, by its rules and regulations, prescribe. Every such inhabitant or person who is not a pauper shall pay to such board or such officer as it shall designate, a reasonable compensation for occupancy, nursing, care, medicine, and attendance, according to the rules and regulations prescribed by the said board. Such hospital always shall be subject to such rules and regulations as said board may adopt in order to render the use of said hospital of the greatest benefit to the greatest number; and said board may exclude from treatment and care any indigent or pay case having a communicable or contagious disease where such disease may be a detriment to the best interest of such hospital and a source of contagion or infection to the patient in its care, and all inhabitants and persons who shall willfully violate any rules and regulations of such hospital.
History.s. 13, ch. 20905, 1941.
155.17 County hospitals; rules for physicians, nurses, etc.When such hospital is established, the physician, nurses, attendants, the person sick therein and all persons approaching or coming within the limits of same, and all furniture and other articles used or brought there shall be subject to such rules and regulations as said board of trustees may prescribe.
History.s. 14, ch. 20905, 1941.
155.18 County hospitals; discrimination against doctors; etc.The board of trustees of any hospital organized under this chapter is authorized to promulgate rules and regulations governing the granting and revoking of privileges to treat patients in the hospital. Such rules shall provide that only those persons licensed to practice medicine and surgery, i.e., medical doctors and osteopathic physicians, may be granted privileges to treat patients in the hospital. Such doctors and physicians may retain their privileges so long as they comply with the rules and regulations of the board of trustees.
History.s. 15, ch. 20905, 1941; s. 1, ch. 61-378.
155.19 County hospitals; training school for nurses.The board of trustees may establish and maintain in connection with such hospital and as part thereof, a training school for nurses, and upon completion of the prescribed course of training shall give to such nurses who satisfactorily complete the said course, a diploma.
History.s. 16, ch. 20905, 1941.
155.20 County hospitals; charity patients; hospital charges.The board of hospital trustees shall have power to determine whether or not patients presented to such public hospital for treatment are subjects of charity, and shall fix the charges for occupancy, nursing, care, medicine, and attendance, other than medical or surgical attendance, of those persons able to pay for same, as the board of trustees may deem just and proper, the receipts therefor to be paid by him or her to the hospital fund.
History.s. 17, ch. 20905, 1941; s. 880, ch. 95-147.
155.21 County hospitals; donations; etc.Any person or persons, firm, organization, corporation or society, public or private, desiring to make donations of money, personal property, or real estate for the benefit of such hospital shall have the right to vest title of the money, personal property, or real estate so donated in said county, to be controlled when accepted by the board of hospital trustees of said hospital, according to the terms of the deed, gift, devise, or bequest of such property.
History.s. 18, ch. 20905, 1941.
155.22 County hospitals; purposes are public.The purpose for which any county hospital established under the provisions of this law shall be used are hereby declared public purposes. Such purposes shall include the operation and maintenance of ambulance service in any county where the board of county commissioners so authorizes.
History.s. 19, ch. 20905, 1941; s. 1, ch. 67-373.
155.23 County hospitals; federal loans, aid, etc.The board of county commissioners of any county desiring to establish and maintain a hospital under the provisions of this law shall be and are hereby authorized and empowered to negotiate and make agreements with any federal agency lending or granting money for the purpose of erecting public hospitals and may match any funds so loaned or granted by such federal agency for the purpose of establishing or constructing a public hospital under the provisions of this law.
History.s. 20, ch. 20905, 1941.
155.24 County hospitals; additional funds.In addition to the tax which may be levied under the provisions of this law, the board of county commissioners may allocate to the hospital funds any other public moneys in possession of said board of county commissioners, not otherwise appropriated or allocated to other uses.
History.s. 21, ch. 20905, 1941.
155.25 Levy authorized for county hospital purposes.
(1) Whenever any board of county commissioners shall deem it necessary to erect, equip, or repair a public hospital in the county or erect and equip an addition or additions to any public hospital, they shall give notice at least once each week for 2 consecutive weeks in some newspaper published in said county, or in some newspaper published in the judicial circuit, if there be none published in the county, that at the next regular meeting of the board after the publication of said notice, such question or questions will be acted upon by said board. If, at said meeting, a majority of said board shall determine that it is necessary to erect, equip, repair, or build an addition or additions to such public hospital, they may levy a hospital building, repair, and equipment tax not exceeding 5 mills per annum, for not more than 15 consecutive years. The tax shall be assessed and collected at the same time and in the same manner as other state and county taxes are levied and collected.
(2) The tax, levied, assessed, and collected as aforesaid, shall be accumulated from year to year until utilized and expended for the public hospital purposes aforesaid.
(3) The provisions hereof shall be cumulative and in addition to all the other provisions of this chapter, and nothing herein contained shall be held to repeal, alter, or amend any of the provisions of this chapter nor repeal, alter, or amend any of the provisions of any special or local law.
(4) The provisions of this section shall not apply to Okaloosa County nor shall the provisions hereof confer the authority hereinabove provided for upon or to the county commissioners of said county.
History.ss. 1, 2, 3, 4, ch. 57-393; s. 6, ch. 90-279.
155.40 Sale or lease of county, district, or municipal hospital; effect of sale.
(1) In the interest of providing quality health care services to the citizens and residents of this state, and notwithstanding any other provision of general or special law, a county, district, or municipal hospital organized and existing under the laws of this state, acting by and through its governing board, may sell or lease the hospital to a for-profit or not-for-profit Florida entity, and enter into leases or other contracts with a for-profit or not-for-profit Florida entity for the purpose of operating the hospital and its facilities. The term of such lease, contract, or agreement and the conditions, covenants, and agreements to be contained therein shall be determined by the governing board of the hospital. The governing board of the hospital must find that the sale, lease, or contract is in the best interests of the affected community and must state the basis of that finding.
(2) A lease, contract, or agreement made pursuant hereto shall:
(a) Provide that the articles of incorporation of the for-profit or not-for-profit corporation be subject to the approval of the board of directors or board of trustees of the hospital;
(b) Require that any not-for-profit corporation become qualified under s. 501(c)(3) of the United States Internal Revenue Code;
(c) Provide for the orderly transition of the operation and management of the facilities;
(d) Provide for the return of the facility to the county, municipality, or district upon the termination of the lease, contract, or agreement; and
(e) Provide for the continued treatment of indigent patients pursuant to the Florida Health Care Responsibility Act and pursuant to chapter 87-92, Laws of Florida.
(3) Any sale, lease, or contract entered into pursuant to this section before the effective date of this act must have complied with the requirements of subsection (2) in effect at the time of the sale, lease, or contract. It is the intent of the Legislature that this section not impose any further requirements with respect to the formation of any for-profit or not-for-profit Florida entity, the composition of the board of directors of any Florida entity, or the manner in which control of the hospital is transferred to the Florida entity.
(4) As used in this section, the term:
(a) “Affected community” means those persons residing within the geographic boundaries defined by the charter of the county, district, or municipal hospital or health care system, or if the boundaries are not specifically defined by charter, by the geographic area from which 75 percent of the county, district, or municipal hospital’s or health care system’s inpatient admissions are derived.
(b) “Fair market value” means the price that a seller or lessor is willing to accept and a buyer or lessee is willing to pay on the open market and in an arms-length transaction, or what an independent expert in hospital valuation determines the fair market value to be.
(c) “Interested party” includes a person submitting a proposal for sale or lease of the county, district, or municipal hospital or health care system, as well as the governing board.
(5) The governing board of a county, district, or municipal hospital or health care system shall commence an evaluation of the possible benefits to an affected community from the sale or lease of hospital facilities owned by the board to a not-for-profit or for-profit entity no later than December 31, 2012. In the course of evaluating the benefits of the sale or lease, the board shall:
(a) Conduct a public hearing to provide interested persons the opportunity to be heard on the matter.
(b) Publish notice of the public hearing in one or more newspapers of general circulation in the county in which the majority of the physical assets of the hospital or health care system are located and in the Florida Administrative Register at least 15 days before the hearing is scheduled to occur.
(c) Contract with a certified public accounting firm or other firm that has substantial expertise in the valuation of hospitals to render an independent valuation of the hospital’s fair market value.
(d) Consider an objective operating comparison between a hospital or health care system operated by the district, county, or municipality and other similarly situated hospitals, both not-for-profit and for-profit, which have a similar service mix, in order to determine whether there is a difference in the cost of operation using publicly available data provided by the Agency for Health Care Administration and the quality metrics identified by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Core Measures. The comparison must determine whether it is more beneficial to taxpayers and the affected community for the hospital to be operated by a governmental entity, or whether the hospital can be operated by a not-for-profit or for-profit entity with similar or better cost-efficiencies or measurable outcomes identified by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Core Measures. The comparison must also determine whether there is a net benefit to the community to operate the hospital as a not-for-profit or for-profit entity and use the proceeds of the sale or lease for the purposes described in this section.
(e) Make publicly available all documents considered by the board in the course of such evaluation.
1. Within 160 days after the initiation of the process established in this subsection, the governing board shall publish notice of the board’s findings in one or more newspapers of general circulation in the county in which the majority of the physical assets of the hospital are located and in the Florida Administrative Register.
2. This evaluation is not required if a district, county, or municipal hospital has issued a public request for proposals for the sale or lease of a hospital on or before February 1, 2012, for the purpose of receiving proposals from qualified purchasers or lessees, either not-for-profit or for-profit.
(6) If, upon completion of the evaluation of the benefits of the sale or lease, the governing board of a county, district, or municipal hospital determines that it is no longer in the best interest of the affected community to own or operate a hospital or health care system and elects to consider a sale or lease of the hospital or health care system to a third party, the governing board must first determine whether there are any qualified purchasers or lessees. In the process of evaluating any qualified purchaser or lessee, the board shall:
(a) Publicly advertise the meeting at which the proposed sale or lease will be considered by the governing board of the hospital in accordance with s. 286.0105; or
(b) Publicly advertise the offer to accept proposals in accordance with s. 255.0525 and receive proposals from all qualified purchasers and lessees.

Any sale or lease must be for fair market value, or, if not for fair market value, the lease must be in the best interest of the affected community. A sale or lease must comply with all applicable state and federal antitrust laws.

(7) A determination by the governing board to accept a proposal for sale or lease shall be made after consideration of all proposals received and negotiations with a qualified purchaser or lessee. The governing board’s determination must include, in writing, detailed findings of all reasons for accepting the proposal.
(a) The governing board’s acceptance of a proposal for sale or lease must include a description of how the sale or lease satisfies each of the following requirements:
1. The sale or lease represents fair market value, as determined by a certified public accounting firm or other qualified firm pursuant to subsection (5). If leased at less than fair market value, the governing board shall provide a detailed explanation of how the best interests of the affected community are served by the acceptance of less than fair market value for the lease of the hospital.
2. Acceptance of the proposal will result in a reduction or elimination of ad valorem or other taxes for taxpayers in the district, if applicable.
3. The proposal includes an enforceable commitment that programs and services and quality health care will continue to be provided to all residents of the affected community, particularly to the indigent, the uninsured, and the underinsured.
4. Disclosure has been made of all conflicts of interest, including, but not limited to, whether the sale or lease of the hospital or health care system would result in a special private gain or loss to members of the governing board or key management employees or members of the medical staff of the county, district, or municipal hospital, or if governing board members will be serving on the board of any successor private corporation. Conflicts of interest, if any, with respect to experts retained by the governing board shall also be disclosed.
5. Disclosure has been made by the seller or lessor of all contracts with physicians or other entities providing health care services through a contract with the seller or lessor, including all agreements or contracts that would be void or voidable upon the consummation of the sale or lease.
6. The proposal is in compliance with subsections (8) and (9).
(b) The findings must be accompanied by all information and documents relevant to the governing board’s determination, including, but not limited to:
1. The names and addresses of all parties to the transaction.
2. The location of the hospital or health care system and all related facilities.
3. A description of the terms of all proposed agreements.
4. A copy of the proposed sale or lease agreement and any related agreements, including, but not limited to, leases, management contracts, service contracts, and memoranda of understanding.
5. The estimated total value associated with the proposed agreement and the proposed acquisition price.
6. Any valuations of the hospital’s or health care system’s assets prepared during the 3 years immediately preceding the proposed transaction date.
7. The fair market value analysis required by paragraph (5)(c), or any other valuation prepared at the request of the board, owner of the hospital or health care system, or managing entity of the hospital or health care system.
8. Copies of all other proposals and bids that the governing board may have received or considered in compliance with subsection (6).
(8) Within 120 days before the anticipated closing date of the proposed transaction, the governing board shall make publicly available all findings and documents required under subsection (7) and publish a notice of the proposed transaction in one or more newspapers of general circulation in the county in which the majority of the physical assets of the hospital or health care system are located. The notice must include the names of the parties involved and the means by which a person may submit written comments about the proposed transaction to the governing board and obtain copies of the findings and documents required under subsection (7).
(9) Within 20 days after the date of publication of the public notice, any person may submit to the governing board written comments regarding the proposed transaction.
(10) The sale or lease of the hospital or health care system is subject to approval by the Secretary of Health Care Administration or his or her designee, except, if otherwise required by law, approval of the sale or lease shall exclusively be by majority vote of the registered voters in the county, district, or municipality in which the hospital or health care system is located.
(a) The governing board shall file a petition with the Secretary of Health Care Administration seeking approval of the proposed transaction at least 30 days after publication of the notice of the proposed transaction.
(b) The petition for approval filed by the governing board must include all findings and documents required under subsection (7) and certification by the governing board of compliance with all requirements of this section. The chair of the governing board must certify under oath and subject to the penalty of perjury on a form accompanying the petition that the contents of the petition and representations therein are true and correct.
(11) Within 30 days after receiving the petition, the Secretary of Health Care Administration or his or her designee shall issue a final order approving or denying the proposed transaction based solely upon consideration of whether the procedures contained within this section have been followed by the governing board of the county, district, or municipal hospital or health care system. The order shall require the governing board to accept or reject the proposal for the sale or lease of the county, district, or municipal hospital or health care system based upon a determination that:
(a) The proposed transaction is permitted by law.
(b) The proposed transaction does not unreasonably exclude a potential purchaser or lessee on the basis of being a for-profit or a not-for-profit Florida corporation or other form of business organization, such as a partnership or limited liability company.
(c) The governing board of the hospital or health care system publicly advertised the meeting at which the proposed transaction was considered by the board in compliance with s. 286.0105.
(d) The governing board of the hospital or health care system publicly advertised the offer to accept proposals in compliance with s. 255.0525.
(e) Any conflict of interest was disclosed, including, but not limited to, how the proposed transaction could result in a special private gain or loss to members of the governing board or key management employees of the county, district, or municipal hospital, or if governing board members will be serving on the board of any successor private corporation. Conflicts of interest, if any, with respect to experts retained by the governing board shall also be disclosed.
(f) The seller or lessor documented that it will receive fair market value for the sale or lease of the assets as indicated in paragraph (5)(c) or, if leased at less than fair market value, the governing board provided a detailed explanation of how the best interests of the affected community are served by the acceptance of less than fair market value for the lease of the hospital or health care system.
(g) The acquiring entity has made an enforceable commitment that programs and services and quality health care will continue to be provided to all residents of the affected community, particularly to the indigent, the uninsured, and the underinsured.
(h) The governing board disclosed whether the sale or lease will result in a reduction or elimination of ad valorem or other taxes used to support the hospital.
(12) Any interested party to the action has the right to seek judicial review of the decision in the appellate district where the hospital is located or in the First District Court of Appeal pursuant to s. 120.68.
(a) All proceedings shall be instituted by filing a notice of appeal in accordance with the Florida Rules of Appellate Procedure within 30 days after the date of the final order.
(b) In such judicial review, the appellate court shall affirm the decision of the Secretary of Health Care Administration, unless the decision by the Secretary of Health Care Administration is shown to be clearly erroneous.
(13) All costs shall be paid by the governing board, unless an interested party contests the action, in which case the court may assign costs equitably to the parties.
(14) If any provision of subsection (5), subsection (6), or subsection (7) is not followed, the contract for sale or lease is voidable by any party to the contract. If any member of the governing board negligently or willfully violates subsection (5), subsection (6), or subsection (7), as determined by the Commission on Ethics after receipt of a sworn complaint pursuant to s. 112.322, the member is subject to a penalty, as determined by the Commission on Ethics pursuant to s. 112.317.
(15) If a county, district, or municipal hospital is sold, any and all special district tax authority associated with the hospital subject to the sale shall cease on the effective date of the closing date of the sale. Any special law inconsistent with this subsection is superseded by this act.
(16) If a county, district, or municipal hospital is sold or leased, the governing board shall:
(a) Deposit 50 percent of the net proceeds of the sale or lease into a health care economic development trust fund, which shall be under the control of the county commission of the county in which the property is located, if the hospital is a county hospital or district hospital whose geographic boundaries extend beyond a single municipality, or, if the hospital is a municipal hospital or district hospital whose geographic boundaries lie entirely within a single municipality, under the control of the city or municipal government in which the hospital is located. The use and distribution of the funds shall be at the discretion of a majority of the county commission if the hospital is a county hospital or district hospital whose geographic boundaries extend beyond a single municipality, or, if the hospital is a municipal hospital or district hospital whose geographic boundaries lie entirely within a single municipality, at the discretion of a majority of the members of the municipal government. The members of the county commission or the municipal government, depending on the type of hospital being sold, shall serve as trustees of the trust fund. The net proceeds in the health care economic development trust fund shall be distributed, in consultation with the Department of Economic Opportunity, to promote job creation in the health care sector of the economy through new or expanded health care business development, new or expanded health care services, or new or expanded health care education programs or commercialization of health care research within the affected community; and
(b) Appropriate 50 percent of the net proceeds of the sale or lease for funding the delivery of indigent care, including, but not limited to, primary care, physician specialty care, out-patient care, in-patient care, and behavioral health, to hospitals within the boundaries of the district with consideration given to the levels of indigent care provided.

For the purposes of this subsection, the term “net proceeds” means the sale price after payment of all district debts and obligations.

(17) If a county, district, or municipal hospital or health care system is sold or leased to a for-profit corporation or other business entity subject to local taxation, the resulting county and municipal ad valorem tax revenue from the formerly tax-exempt property shall be distributed by the county commission of the county in which the property is located, if the hospital is a county hospital or district hospital whose geographic boundaries extend beyond a single municipality, or, if the hospital is a municipal hospital or district hospital whose geographic boundaries lie entirely within a single municipality, such ad valorem tax revenues shall be distributed by the municipal government. The distribution of such ad valorem tax revenues shall be made in consultation with the Department of Economic Opportunity, for purposes set forth in subsection (16).
(18) If a hospital operated by a for-profit or not-for-profit Florida entity receives annually more than $100,000 in revenues from the county, district, or municipality that owns the hospital, the Florida entity must be accountable to the county, district, or municipality with respect to the manner in which the funds are expended by either:
(a) Having the revenues subject to annual appropriations by the county, district, or municipality; or
(b) Where there is a contract to provide revenues to the hospital, the term of which is longer than 12 months, the governing board of the county, district, or municipality must be able to modify the contract upon 12 months notice to the hospital.

A not-for-profit entity that is subject to this subsection and does not currently comply with the accountability requirements in this subsection shall have 12 months after the effective date of this act to modify any contracts with the county, district, or municipality in a manner that is consistent with this subsection.

(19) Unless otherwise expressly stated in the lease documents, the transaction involving the sale or lease of a hospital may not be construed as:
(a) A transfer of a governmental function from the county, district, or municipality to the private purchaser or lessee;
(b) Constituting a financial interest of the public lessor in the private lessee; or
(c) Making a private lessee an integral part of the public lessor’s decisionmaking process.
(20) The lessee of a hospital, under this section or any special act of the Legislature, operating under a lease may not be construed to be “acting on behalf of” the lessor as that term is used in statute, unless the lease document expressly provides to the contrary.
(21)(a) If, whenever the sale of a public hospital by a public agency to a private entity pursuant to this section or pursuant to a special act of the Legislature reflects that:
1. The private entity purchaser acquires 100 percent ownership in the hospital enterprise;
2. The private entity purchases the physical plant of the hospital facility and has complete responsibility for the operation and maintenance of the facility, regardless of ownership of the underlying real property;
3. The public agency seller retains no control over decisionmaking or policymaking for the hospital;
4. The private entity purchaser receives no funding from the public agency seller other than by contract for services rendered to patients for whom the public agency seller has the responsibility to pay for hospital or medical care;
5. The public agency seller makes no substantial investment in or loans to the private entity;
6. The private entity purchaser was not created by the public entity seller; and
7. The private entity purchaser operates primarily for its own financial interests and not primarily for the interests of the public agency,

such a sale shall be considered a complete sale of the public agency’s interest in the hospital or health care system.

(b) A complete sale of a hospital or health care system as described in this subsection may not be construed as:
1. A transfer of a governmental function from the county, district, or municipality to the private entity purchaser;
2. Constituting a financial interest of the public agency in the private entity purchaser;
3. Making the private entity purchaser an “agency” as that term is used in statutes;
4. Making the private entity purchaser an integral part of the public agency’s decisionmaking process; or
5. Indicating that the private entity purchaser is “acting on behalf of a public agency” as that term is used in statute.
(22) If the governing board elects to sell or lease the physical property of a county, district, or municipal hospital or health care system and such property generated less than 20 percent of the hospital’s net revenue within the hospital’s or health care system’s most recent fiscal year, the sale or lease of such property is exempt from the requirements under subsections (6)-(17). However, the governing board shall publicly advertise the meeting at which the proposed sale or lease of such property will be considered by the governing board of the hospital in accordance with s. 286.0105 or publicly advertise the offer to accept proposals in accordance with s. 255.0525 and receive proposals from all qualified purchasers and lessees. The sale or lease of the property must be for fair market value, or, if a lease is for less than fair market value, the lease must be in the best interest of the affected community.
(23) A county, district, or municipal hospital or health care system that is under lease as of the effective date of this act is not subject to subsections (5)-(17) as long as that lease remains in effect in accordance with the terms of the lease or such lease is modified, extended, or renewed. However, such hospital or health care system becomes subject to the provisions of this act upon:
(a) Termination of the lease, unless the lease termination is the direct result of a new lease involving a partnership, transaction, or contract in which both the existing lessor and lessee agree to the new lease between the lessor and another mutually agreed upon entity;
(b) Notification provided to the lessee of a planned termination of the lease in accordance with the lease terms, unless the notification of lease termination is the direct result of a new lease involving a partnership, transaction, or contract in which both the existing lessor and lessee agree to the new lease between the lessor and another mutually agreed upon entity;
(c) Notification to the lessee that upon termination of the lease the lessor plans to seek potential new lessees or buyers; or
(d) Notification to the lessee that the lessor plans to resume operation of the hospital or health care system at the termination of the lease.

Any such hospital or health care system may not thereafter be sold, leased to another lessee, or operated by the owner without first complying with this section.

(24) A county, district, or municipal hospital or health care system that has executed a letter of intent to sell or lease the hospital or health care system accepted at a properly noticed public meeting, and whose governing board has voted to approve the letter of intent before December 31, 2011, is not subject to subsections (6)-(17) as long as the final closing of the sale or lease transaction pursuant to the letter of intent occurs before December 31, 2012.
(25) Notwithstanding subsection (24), a county, district, or municipal hospital or health care system that has issued a request for proposals for the sale or lease of a hospital or health care system on or before February 1, 2012, in order to receive proposals from not-for-profit or for-profit qualified purchasers or lessees, is not subject to subsections (5)-(17) unless such request for proposals does not directly result in a sale or lease of the hospital or health care system to a qualified purchaser or lessee on or before December 31, 2012.
History.s. 3, ch. 82-147; s. 1, ch. 83-158; s. 1, ch. 84-98; s. 6, ch. 87-92; s. 1, ch. 96-304; s. 6, ch. 99-356; s. 1, ch. 2006-170; s. 1, ch. 2012-66; s. 14, ch. 2013-14.
155.401 Power of special taxing district to appropriate proceeds from sale or lease of hospital or health care system to economic development trust fund.Notwithstanding any other general or special law, the purposes for which a special taxing district may appropriate funds from the sale or lease of a hospital or health care system to an economic development fund include the promotion and support of economic growth in such district and in the county in which such district is located and the furthering of the purposes of such district, as provided by law.
History.s. 2, ch. 2012-66.
155.4011 Conflicts.To the extent that any general or special law is inconsistent with or otherwise in conflict with ch. 2012-66, Laws of Florida, such conflicting provisions are specifically superseded by ch. 2012-66, Laws of Florida. A special tax district, public hospital, or municipal hospital is not exempt from ch. 2012-66, Laws of Florida.
History.s. 3, ch. 2012-66.
155.41 Exceptions for sales or leases.Section 155.40(3), as created by this act, shall apply retroactively to all sales, leases, or other contracts entered into pursuant to this section prior to the effective date of this act, except for:
(1) Any not-for-profit corporation if the lease or financial support agreement has been declared invalid in a final, nonappealable court order entered prior to April 1, 1996;
(2) Any sale, lease, or contract that has been declared valid in a final, nonappealable court order entered prior to April 1, 1996; or
(3) Any public hospital leased by a not-for-profit corporation that filed for protection under the Federal Bankruptcy Code prior to March 1, 1993.
History.s. 2, ch. 96-304.
155.45 Retirement annuities authorized.A hospital which provides retirement coverage under the Florida Retirement System and which is terminating coverage because the hospital is closing is authorized to purchase annuities for all personnel with 25 or more years of creditable service who have reached age 55 and who have applied for retirement under the Florida Retirement System. No such annuity shall provide for more than the total difference in retirement income between the retirement benefit based on average monthly compensation and creditable service as of the member’s early retirement date and the early retirement benefit. Hospitals as described in this section are authorized to invest funds, purchase annuities, or provide local supplemental retirement programs for purposes of providing annuities for their personnel. All retirement annuities shall comply with s. 14, Art. X of the State Constitution.
History.s. 1, ch. 88-77.