Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 15.2. Counties, Cities and Towns
Chapter 53. Hospital Authorities
4/25/2024

Article 1. In General.

§ 15.2-5300. Finding and declaration of necessity.

It is declared that conditions resulting from the concentration of population of various cities of the Commonwealth require the construction, maintenance and operation of adequate hospital facilities for the care of the public health, for the control and treatment of epidemics, for the care of the indigent and for the public welfare. In various cities of the Commonwealth, adequate hospital facilities are not available to the inhabitants, and, consequently, many persons, including persons of low income, are forced to do without adequate medical and hospital care and accommodations. These conditions cause an increase in and the spread of disease and crime and constitute a menace to the health, safety, morals and welfare of the Commonwealth and impair economic values. The aforesaid conditions also exist in certain areas surrounding such cities, and these conditions cannot be remedied by the ordinary operations of private enterprises. The providing of adequate hospital and medical care are public uses and purposes for which public money may be spent and private property acquired. It is in the public interest that adequate hospital and medical facilities and care be provided in such concentrated centers of population in order to care for and protect the health and public welfare. The provisions hereinafter enacted are declared as a matter of legislative determination necessary in the public interest.

Code 1950, § 32-213; 1979, c. 719, § 15.1-1533; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-5301. Definitions.

As used in this chapter, unless the context requires a different meaning:

"Authority" or "hospital authority" means a body corporate organized in accordance with the provisions of this chapter for the purposes, with the powers and subject to the restrictions hereinafter set forth.

"Bonds" means any bonds, interim certificates, notes, debentures, or other obligations of the authority issued pursuant to this chapter.

"City," means both cities and counties, and city-specific terms such as "mayor" shall be deemed to also include the equivalent county term.

"Commissioner" means one of the members of an authority appointed in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.

"Contract" means any agreement of an authority with or for the benefit of an obligee whether contained in a resolution, trust indenture, mortgage, lease, bond or other instrument.

"Cost," as applied to a hospital project, means all or any part of the cost of acquisition, construction, alteration, enlargement, reconstruction and remodeling of a hospital project, including all lands, structures, real or personal property, interest in land and air rights, the cost of demolishing or removing any buildings or structures on land so acquired, including the cost of acquiring any lands to which such buildings or structures may be moved, the cost of all labor, materials, machinery and equipment, financing charges, interest on all bonds prior to, during and for a period of time not to exceed two years after completion, provisions for working capital, the cost of architectural engineering, financial and legal services, plans, specifications, studies, surveys, estimates of cost and revenues, administrative expenses, expenses necessary or incident to determining the feasibility or practicability of acquiring or constructing the hospital project and such other expenses as may be necessary or incidental to the acquisition and construction of such project, the financing of such acquisition and construction and the placing of the project in operation.

"Federal government" means the United States of America or any agency or instrumentality, corporate or otherwise, of the United States of America.

"Government" means the Commonwealth and the federal government and any subdivision, agency or instrumentality, corporate or otherwise, of either of them.

"Hospital project" or "project" means any and all medical facilities and approaches thereto and appurtenances thereof. Medical facilities shall include any and all facilities suitable for providing adequate hospital facilities and medical care for concentrated centers of population, and also includes any and all structures, buildings, improvements, additions, extensions, replacements, appurtenances, lands, rights in land, franchises, machinery, equipment, furnishings, landscaping, approaches, roadways and other facilities necessary or desirable in connection therewith or incidental thereto, including, without limitation, hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, continuing care facilities, self-care facilities, medical office facilities, clinics, out-patient surgical centers, alcohol, substance abuse and drug treatment centers, laboratories, research facilities, sanitariums, hospices, facilities for the residence or care of elderly or chronically ill individuals or individuals with disabilities, residential facilities for nurses, interns, and physicians and any other kind of facility for the diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation, prevention or palliation of any human illness, injury, disorder, or disability; together with all related and supporting facilities and equipment necessary and desirable in connection therewith or incidental thereto; or equipment alone, including, without limitation, parking facilities, kitchen, laundry, laboratory, pharmaceutical, administrative, communications, computer and recreational facilities and equipment, storage space, mobile medical facilities, vehicles, and other equipment necessary or desirable for the transportation of medical equipment or the transportation of patients.

"Obligee of the authority" or "obligee" includes any bondholder, trustee or trustees for any bondholders, any lessor demising property to the authority used in connection with a hospital project or any assignee or assignees of such lessor's interest or any part thereof, and the United States of America when it is a party to any contract with the authority.

"Real property" includes lands under water, structures, and any and all easements, franchises and incorporeal hereditaments and every estate and right therein, legal and equitable, including terms for years and liens by way of judgments, mortgage or otherwise.

"Trust indenture" includes instruments pledging the revenues of real or personal properties but not conveying such properties or conferring a right to foreclose and cause a sale thereof.

Code 1950, § 32-214; 1973, c. 462, § 15.1-1534; 1979, c. 719; 1997, c. 587; 2006, c. 658; 2014, c. 502; 2023, cc. 148, 149.

§ 15.2-5302. Creation of hospital authorities.

In each city there shall be a political subdivision of the Commonwealth, with such public and corporate powers as are set forth in this chapter, to be known as the "hospital authority" of the city.

Code 1950, § 32-215; 1979, c. 719, § 15.1-1535; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-5303. Not to function until council declares need.

No authority shall transact any business or exercise its powers until or unless the council of the city by resolution declares at any time hereafter that there is need for an authority to function in the city.

Code 1950, § 32-216; 1979, c. 719, § 15.1-1536; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-5304. How need determined.

The determination as to whether there is a need for an authority to function may be made by the governing body on its own motion or upon the filing of a petition, signed by 100 registered voters of the city, asserting that there is need for an authority to function in the city and requesting that the governing body so declare.

Code 1950, § 32-217; 1979, c. 719, § 15.1-1537; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-5305. What constitutes need.

The council may adopt a resolution declaring that there is need for a hospital authority in the city if it finds (i) that there are inadequate hospital facilities and medical accommodations from the operations of private enterprises in the city and the surrounding area, or (ii) that the public health and welfare, including the health and welfare of persons of low income in the city and the surrounding area, require the construction, maintenance or operation of public hospital facilities for such inhabitants.

Code 1950, § 32-218; 1979, c. 719, § 15.1-1538; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-5306. Effect and sufficiency of resolution declaring need.

In any suit, action or proceeding involving the validity or enforcement of or relating to any contract of the authority, the authority shall be conclusively deemed to have become established and authorized to transact business and exercise its powers hereunder upon proof of the adoption of a resolution of the governing body declaring the need for the authority. Such resolution shall be deemed sufficient if it declares that there is such need for an authority and finds in substantially the foregoing terms (no further detail being necessary) that either or both of the conditions enumerated in § 15.2-5305 exist in the city. A copy of such resolution duly certified by the clerk shall be admissible in evidence in any suit, action or proceeding.

Code 1950, § 32-219; 1979, c. 719, § 15.1-1539; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-5307. Appointment, qualifications, tenure and compensation of commissioners.

An authority shall consist of not more than 15 commissioners appointed by the mayor, and he shall designate the first chairman. No more than three commissioners shall be practicing physicians. No officer or employee of the city, with the exception of the director of a local health department, shall be eligible for appointment; however, no director of a local health department shall serve as chairman of the authority. No local health director who serves as a hospital authority commissioner shall serve as a member of the regional health planning agency board simultaneously. No practicing physician shall be appointed to such authority in the City of Hopewell.

One-third of the commissioners who are first appointed shall be designated by the mayor to serve for terms of two years, one-third to serve for terms of four years, and one-third to serve for terms of six years, respectively, from the date of their appointment. Thereafter, the term of office shall be six years. No person shall be appointed to succeed himself following four successive terms in office; no term of less than six years shall be deemed a term in office for the purposes of this sentence.

A commissioner shall hold office until the earlier of the effective date of his resignation or the date on which his successor has been appointed and has qualified. Vacancies shall be filled for the unexpired term. In the event of a vacancy in the office of commissioner by expiration of term of office or otherwise, the remaining commissioners shall submit to the mayor nominations for appointments. The mayor may successively require additional nominations and shall have power to appoint any person so nominated. All such vacancies shall be filled from such nominations. A majority of the commissioners currently in office shall constitute a quorum. The mayor may file with the city clerk a certificate of the appointment or reappointment of any commissioner, and such certificate shall be conclusive evidence of the due and proper appointment of such commissioner. A commissioner shall receive no compensation for his services, but he shall be entitled to the necessary expenses including traveling expenses incurred in the discharge of his duties.

Code 1950, § 32-220; 1960, c. 305; 1968, c. 783, § 15.1-1540; 1977, c. 158; 1979, c. 719; 1986, c. 240; 1997, c. 587; 2005, c. 630; 2006, c. 658; 2007, c. 813.

§ 15.2-5308. Officers and agents.

When the office of the first chairman of the authority becomes vacant, the authority shall select a chairman from among its commissioners. An authority shall select from among its members a vice-chairman, and it may employ a secretary, technical experts, and such other officers, agents and employees, permanent and temporary, as it may require, and shall determine their qualifications, duties and compensation. An authority may employ its own counsel and legal staff. An authority may delegate to one or more of its agents or employees such powers or duties as it deems proper.

Code 1950, § 32-221; 1979, c. 719, § 15.1-1541; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-5309. Effect of inclusion of existing hospital.

If the authority and the trustees, directors or managers of any nonprofit or charitable hospital in a city should agree upon and consummate a transaction whereby the nonprofit or charitable hospital should thereafter be included within the hospital project or projects of the authority, the number of commissioners of such authority shall be increased to not exceeding fifteen. The additional commissioners shall be appointed by the mayor from nominations of the commissioners then in office, and the terms of the additional commissioners shall be arranged by the mayor in making such appointments as follows:

The terms of one-third of the commissioners shall expire in two years or less, one-third in four years or less, and one-third in six years or less, concurrently with the expiration of the terms of the commissioners then in office.

Code 1950, § 32-222; 1960, c. 305; 1979, c. 719, § 15.1-1542; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-5310. Authority and commissioners must comply with law and contracts.

The authority and its commissioners shall be under a statutory duty to comply or to cause compliance strictly with all provisions of this chapter and the laws of the Commonwealth and, in addition thereto, with each and every term, provision and covenant in any contract of the authority on its part to be kept or performed.

Code 1950, § 32-223; 1979, c. 719, § 15.1-1543; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-5311. Removal of commissioner on charges of mayor.

The mayor may remove a commissioner for inefficiency or neglect of duty or misconduct in office, but only after the commissioner has been given a copy of the charges against him, which may be made by the mayor, at least ten days prior to the hearing thereon and has had an opportunity to be heard in person or by counsel.

Code 1950, § 32-225; 1979, c. 719, § 15.1-1544; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-5312. Removal of commissioner on charges of obligee.

Any obligee of the authority may file with the mayor written charges that the authority is willfully violating any law of the Commonwealth or any term, provision or covenant in any contract to which the authority is a party. The mayor shall give each of the commissioners a copy of such charges at least ten days prior to the hearing thereon and an opportunity to be heard in person or by counsel and shall within fifteen days after receipt of such charges remove any commissioners of the authority who shall have been found to have acquiesced in any such willful violation.

Code 1950, § 32-226; 1979, c. 719, § 15.1-1545; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-5313. Service on commissioner by mail.

If, after due and diligent search, a commissioner to whom charges are required to be delivered hereunder cannot be found within the city where the authority is located, such charges shall be deemed served upon the commissioner if mailed to him at his last known address as it appears upon the records of the authority.

Code 1950, § 32-227; 1979, c. 719, § 15.1-1546; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-5314. When commissioner deemed to have acquiesced in violation.

A commissioner shall be deemed to have acquiesced in a willful violation by the authority of a law of this Commonwealth or of any term, provision or covenant contained in a contract to which the authority is a party if, before a hearing is held on charges against him, he has not filed a written statement with the authority of his objections to, or lack of participation in, such violation.

Code 1950, § 32-228; 1979, c. 719, § 15.1-1547; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-5315. Record of removal proceedings.

In the event of the removal of any commissioner, the mayor shall file in the office of the city clerk a record of the proceedings together with the charges made against the commissioner and the findings thereon.

Code 1950, § 32-229; 1979, c. 719, § 15.1-1548; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-5316. Removed commissioner may appeal.

Any commissioner thus removed may, within ten days after the mayor's action, appeal to the circuit court of the city, and the decision of such court shall be final.

Code 1950, § 32-230; 1979, c. 719, § 15.1-1549; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-5317. Planning and zoning laws.

All hospital projects of an authority shall be subject to the planning and zoning laws, ordinances and regulations applicable to the locality in which the hospital project is situated.

Code 1950, § 32-231; 1979, c. 719, § 15.1-1550; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-5318. Reports.

The authority shall at least once a year file with the mayor of the city an audit report by a certified public accountant of its activities for the preceding year, and shall make any recommendations with reference to any additional legislation or other action that may be necessary in order to carry out the purposes of this chapter.

Code 1950, § 32-232; 1979, c. 719, § 15.1-1551; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-5319. Appropriations by city.

The governing body of any city in which the authority is located may make appropriations for the improvement, maintenance or operation of any public hospital or hospital project constructed, maintained, or operated by or to be constructed, maintained or operated by an authority.

Code 1950, § 32-233; 1979, c. 719, § 15.1-1552; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-5320. Conveyance, lease or transfers of property by city to authority.

In order to provide for the construction, reconstruction, improvement, repair or management of any hospital or hospital project or in order to accomplish any of the purposes of this chapter, any city may, with or without consideration or for a nominal consideration, lease, sell, convey or otherwise transfer to an authority, within such city, any real, personal or mixed property including, but not limited to, any existing hospital or hospital project as a going concern or otherwise, and including the assignment and transfer of any part of or all money, choses in action and other assets used or held for the use of such hospital or hospital project. In connection with any such transaction the authority involved may accept such lease, transfer, assignment and conveyance and bind itself to the performance and observance of any agreements and conditions attached thereto.

Code 1950, § 32-234; 1979, c. 719, § 15.1-1553; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-5321. Chapter controlling.

Insofar as the provisions of this chapter are inconsistent with the provisions of any other law, the provisions of this chapter shall be controlling. Nothing in this chapter shall prevent any city from establishing, equipping, and operating a hospital or hospitals or improving or extending existing hospitals and hospital facilities under the provisions of its charter or any general law other than this chapter.

Code 1950, § 32-235; 1979, c. 719, § 15.1-1554; 1997, c. 587.