Section 8A: Sale, lease, or exchange of corporate property and assets; grant of security interest; public charities; notification of attorney general and commissioner of public health; investigation
Section 8A. (a) A corporation may authorize, by vote of two-thirds of its members entitled to vote thereon or, in the case of a corporation having capital stock, by the holders of two-thirds of its capital stock entitled to vote thereon, at a meeting duly called for the purpose, with notice given as provided in section six B, the sale, lease, exchange or other disposition of all or substantially all of its property and assets upon such terms and conditions as it deems expedient, except that no such vote shall be required if such transaction does not involve or will not result in a material change in the nature of the activities conducted by the corporation.
(b) The authorization by members of the mortgage or pledge of, or granting of a security interest in, property or assets of a corporation shall not be necessary except to the extent that the corporation's articles of organization or by-laws provide otherwise.
(c) A corporation constituting a public charity shall give written notice to the attorney general not less than thirty days before making any sale, lease, exchange, or other disposition not referred to in subsection (b) of all or substantially all of its property and assets if that sale, lease, exchange or other disposition involves or will result in a material change in the nature of the activities conducted by the corporation, except that no such notice shall be required if a written waiver of such notice is executed by the attorney general before or after such sale, lease, exchange or other disposition. A certificate signed by an officer of the corporation which states that notice was not required, that notice was given, or that notice was waived by the attorney general, with respect to any sale, lease, exchange or other disposition of property by the corporation shall be conclusive in favor of any purchaser, lessee, transferee or other person relying thereon for purposes of determining compliance with the provisions of this subsection.
(d)(1) A nonprofit acute-care hospital, as defined in section 25B of chapter 111, or a nonprofit health maintenance organization as defined in chapter 176G shall give written notice of not less than 90 days to the attorney general and to the commissioner of public health if such notice concerns a nonprofit health maintenance organization, before it enters into a sale, lease, exchange, or other disposition of a substantial amount of its assets or operations with a person or entity other than a public charity. No such notice shall be required if a written waiver of such notice is executed by the attorney general. When investigating the proposed transaction, the attorney general shall consider any factors that the attorney general deems relevant, including, but not limited to, whether:
(i) the proposed transaction complies with applicable general nonprofit and charities law;
(ii) due care was followed by the nonprofit entity;
(iii) conflict of interest was avoided by the nonprofit entity at all phases of decision making;
(iv) fair value will be received for the nonprofit assets; and
(v) the proposed transaction is in the public interest.
(2) The attorney general shall assess the entity proposing to receive such assets or operations for reasonable costs related to, and shall expend such amounts for the review of the proposed transaction, as determined by the attorney general to be necessary. Such reasonable costs may include expert review of the transaction, a process for educating the public about the transaction and obtaining public input, and administrative costs. All materials filed by the parties in the course of the attorney general's review shall be made available for public inspection pursuant to section 10 of chapter 66 and section 7 of chapter 4.
(3) The attorney general shall, during the course of his investigation, hold at least one public hearing, in a location convenient to the population served by the nonprofit entity, at which any person may file written comments and exhibits or appear and make a statement. At least 21 days in advance of the public hearing, the nonprofit entity shall publish notice of the hearing in a newspaper of general circulation where the entity is located. The notice shall include the name of the nonprofit entity, the name of the acquirer, or other parties to the proposed transaction, the nature of the proposed transaction and the anticipated consideration that will be paid by the acquirer. In addition, the notice shall offer to provide to any person upon request to the nonprofit entity a detailed summary of the proposed transaction and copies of all transaction and collateral agreements. As defined in section 7 of chapter 4, compliance with this notice requirement will not require disclosure of confidential trade secret, commercial or financial information contained in schedules or exhibits of those agreements.
(4) If a charitable fund results from the transaction, and if the nonprofit entity making the disposition does not continue its operation of a nonprofit hospital or nonprofit health maintenance organization, the governance of the charitable fund shall be subject to review by the attorney general and approval by the court. The governance of the charitable fund shall be broadly based in the community historically served by the predecessor nonprofit acute care hospital or health maintenance organization and shall be independent of the new for-profit entity. The attorney general shall conduct a public hearing in connection with his review of the plan for the governance of the resulting charitable fund. An appropriate portion of any resulting proceeds shall, if determined to be necessary by the attorney general, be used for assistance in the development of a community-based plan for the use of the resulting charitable fund.
(5) The entity receiving such assets or operations shall, if determined to be necessary by the attorney general in consultation with the department of public health, provide the funds, in an amount determined by the commissioner of public health, for the hiring by the department of public health of an independent health care access monitor to monitor and report quarterly to the attorney general, the department of public health and the committee on health care on community health care access by the entity, including levels of free care provided by the entity. The funding shall be provided for three years after the transaction. The entity receiving such assets or operations shall provide the monitor with appropriate access to the entity's records in order to enable the monitor to fulfill this function. To prevent the duplication of any information already reported by the entity, the monitor shall, to the extent possible, utilize data already provided by the entity to the center for health information and analysis under chapter 12C or to any other agency. No personal identifiers shall be attached to any of the records obtained by the monitor and all such records shall be subject to the privacy and confidentiality provisions of section 70E of chapter 111.
(6) No officer, director, incorporator, member, employee, staff, physician, expert or advisor of the nonprofit entity making the disposition shall derive improper benefit from the transaction. The officers, directors, incorporators, members, senior managers, staff, physicians, experts and advisors of the nonprofit entity making the disposition shall be prohibited from investing in the for-profit entity for a period of three years following such disposition.