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Posts tagged: Deaconess Medical Center

Senate changes laws on non-profits in hospital fight

OLYMPIA — The Legislature came closer to stepping between two feuding hospital organizations in Spokane by changing laws that govern what happens when the board of a non-profit corporation deadlocks.

House Bill 3046 allows a superior court judge more lattitude in solving an impasse on a non-profit board. Under current law, the judge’s options were essentially limited to dissolving the corporation.

The bill was was spawned by a dispute by the corporations that run Deaconess and Providence Sacred Heart medical center and set up Inland Northwest Health Services to share a variety of operations, from medical records to air ambulance. Both hospital corporations were non-profits when INHS was set up, but Deaconess has since been purchased by a for-profit organization and disagreements over the use of INHS have arisen.

It’s the first change in the state’s non-profit laws since 1967, Sen. Adam Kline, D-Seattle said. It would allow judges to use the same rules for trying to solve a dispute on a for-profit corporation.

Rep. Jim Honeyford, R-Sunnyside, tried unsuccessfully to strip a emergency clause from the bill: “We haven’t acted in 43 years, I don’t see an emergency to act now.”

But Sen. Lisa Brown, D-Spokane, said a Spokane “health-care related non-profit” — she didn’t mention INHS specifically on the Senate floor — could be in a sitaution soon where it needed this assistance.

Sen. Chris Marr, D-Spokane, said a deadlock on the INHS board could imperil 1,000 jobs in Spokane.

The bill passed 44-1 with all Spokane area legislators voting yes. It now heads back to the House of Representatives, which passed a similar version 97-0 three weeks ago.

Should Legislature step into Spokane hospital fight?

OLYMPIA – The dispute between Spokane’s two biggest hospitals spilled over into the legislative session Tuesday as a Senate panel considered changing a law that would determine how a judge could settle any impasse.

The dispute involves Inland Northwest Health Services, a non-profit jointly operated by the companies that own Sacred Heart and Deaconess medical centers. INHS operates an electronic medical records system, an air ambulance service and other systems shared by the two hospitals as well as other hospitals, clinics and doctors in Spokane and around the region.

Each has a vote on the INHS board, but can’t agree, which presents the region with a dilemma, State Rep. John Driscoll, D-Spokane. said. Under state law, if a non-profit board is deadlocked and takes the dispute to Superior Court, a judge has few options other than dissolving the corporation.

To read the rest of the story, go inside the blog

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About this blog

Jim Camden is a veteran political reporter for The Spokesman-Review.


Jonathan Brunt is an enterprise reporter for The Spokesman-Review.


Kip Hill is a general assignments reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

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