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Proposed bill would require transparency in hospital closures | News

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Proposed bill would require transparency in hospital closures

UPPER MARLBORO, Md. (WUSA9) -- Elected officials in Maryland announced a bill Tuesday that would enable the Prince George's County Council to decide whether government funded hospitals can close.

The bill, which was also announced by healthcare union 1199SEIU, is proposed less than two months after Dimensions Health System announced a plan to close the maternal and child health unit at Laurel Regional Hospital.

Under the bill, hospitals would be required to give the Board of Health 90 days notice before a closure and the board would be required to hold a public hearing within five miles of the hospital no more than 30 days after receiving the closure notice.

The bill would only apply to hospitals in Prince George's County that receive state and county funding and would prohibit the closing of those hospitals without the approval of the county council.

“This emergency bill is about transparency, and it’s needed because the hospital system shouldn’t be allowed to operate under cloak and dagger,” said Delegate Joseline Pena-Melnyk in a statement. “People are worried about what’s going to happen next and how they will be affected.”

About 38 workers will be affected by the change at the hospital. 

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