04 Feb: Weinberg/Gordon Measure Would Require Hospitals To Adopt Conflicts Of Interest Policy

TRENTON – A measure sponsored by Senators Loretta Weinberg and Bob Gordon which would require hospital boards of trustees to adopt a policy regulating conflicts of interest on the part of board members was approved today by the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee.

“I have been arguing the case for increased transparency in government for as long as I have been in the Legislature,” said Senator Weinberg, D-Bergen. “However, the need for accountability and transparency reaches far beyond just State government. Through establishing ethics guidelines for hospital boards of trustees, this legislation would ensure that the members of these boards are working to enhance the health and quality of life of patients, and not to pad their pockets or pensions. ”

“This bill would put into practice recommendations of the Commission on Rationalizing Healthcare, which was created to examine and make necessary recommendations to improve the quality and operations of the State’s hospital system,” said Senator Gordon, D-Bergen. “One of the major issues that concerned the Commission was a lack of transparency in State hospital operations and accountability. By requiring these boards of trustees to follow ethics guidelines, we could ensure that hospitals are governed fairly, and that those who govern have the best interests of the hospital and patients as their top priorities.”