Johnson City (Tenn.) Medical Center Hospital, which is considering a venture with Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corp., has temporarily halted sales of memberships that allow a vote on hospital decisions.
City Manager John Campbell made the motion last week with the board of directors for a 90-day moratorium. The memberships cost $100, and the hospital has about 750 members.
He said the move prevents Columbia or other companies from buying votes to sway the decision.
"I felt the best way to represent the citizens was to make sure there was not a takeover of the hospital without the representation of the people or the board," Campbell said.
The 407-bed private hospital was founded with federal money and community contributions.