Q Our community hospital would like to establish an inpatient geriatric psychiatric unit, which will serve patients from a larger geographic area than the hospitalís historic area for acute care patients. May a community hospital expand beyond its geographic area traditionally served?

A Yes. Section 41-13-10(f) authorizes a board of trustees to make a factual determination to expand its service area if supported by a new patient origin study. If the board of trustees believes that the service area of the patients the hospital is serving has broadened, the board may conduct a new patient origin study in order to determine if an expansion of the service area is warranted. If such factual determination is made by the board after review of the new patient origin study and it desires to expand its service area, the board of trustees shall adopt a resolution clearly defining the newly expanded service area. (Attorney Generalís Opinion to Gibbes, September 20, 2019)