Montrose Hospital decision upheld

The Colorado Court of Appeals decided Thursday to uphold a district court ruling affirming Montrose Memorial Hospital’s ability to lease the public hospital to a private nonprofit.

The hospital’s board of trustees voted two years ago to lease the hospital to Montrose Memorial Hospital, Inc. and make themselves board members for the nonprofit. Montrose County Commissioners opposed the way the leasing decision was handled, saying it may lead to a lack of transparency in hospital business discussions.

A press release sent by the county Thursday afternoon stated the board is “disappointed” with the appeals court’s decision because the board is concerned the governance change, inherent in the lease to a private entity, will limit public access to hospital expenditure information. But the board will “continue to be willing to work with the Hospital Board of Directors as well as the Hospital Board of Trustees” to address the area’s medical needs, according to the release.

“The Court of Appeals upheld the lower Court’s (sic) decision and as far as I am concerned, that settles the issue,” Montrose County Commissioner Gary Ellis said in the release. “I am not interested in any further appeals. I think we need to focus on other large issues facing the County.” 

Commissioner David White added in the release, “I’m glad we have a final resolution in the hospital issue. I would hope the Hospital Board of Directors will operate in the public’s best interest and work hard to allay the concerns of citizens in the privatization of a public hospital.”


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