Hospital Authority approves amendment to city contract - Alabamas13.com WVTM-TV Birmingham, AL

Hospital Authority approves amendment to city contract

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COLUMBUS, Ga. - The Medical Center Hospital Authority gave the thumbs up to an amendment to the city's indigent care contract with Midtown Medical Center. The proposed changes could save taxpayers about half a million dollars a year.

Mayor Teresa Tomlinson says the amendment has several components that will save the city money in the long run. The first change will center on how the city pays the Medical Center for indigent care services. The original contract had the city paying a percent of the entire tax digest. Mayor Tomlinson says a lot of those property taxes were uncollected. The amendment calls for future payments to be based on only on the property taxes collected.

"This was really an interim opportunity to take the two entities to the existing contract and see if we could amend a few things to make them better for the taxpayers. We certainly appreciate the Medical Center, Chuck Stark and the board. They didn't have to do anything, but they did," said Mayor Tomlinson.

Other changes will include a 50% savings on inmate care for the first $500,000 the city spends. Also, if there is any leftover money at the end of the year, 50% will go back to the city. The chairman of the Medical Center Hospital Authority says the restructured contract is not monetarily beneficial to the hospital but they do get a bit of goodwill.

"There are larger things at stake here. I think a positive relationship with the city government going forward is probably much more important in the long term as we try to build a much more positive relationship," said Dr. Michael Gorum.
City Council still has to approve the amendment. Mayor Tomlinson says she expects it to come before council at next Tuesday's meeting.

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