The New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) adopted final regulations on the hospital trustee education law passed in May 2007. The regulations apply to any trustee or director of a nonprofit or for-profit, acute care general hospital, appointed after April 30, 2007. Trustees will be required to take a minimum of seven hours of education designed to clarify the roles and duties of a hospital trustee. The training must be completed no later than six months after the date the trustee is appointed as a member of the board, except that trustees appointed from April 30, 2007, through Nov. 17, 2008, must complete their training by May 19, 2009.

The trustee training program must address each of the following subjects:

  • Ethical and fiduciary responsibilities of a member;
  • Role of the governing body in improving health care quality and the mechanisms available for doing so;
  • Hospital financial management, and understanding financial statements, and reimbursement and finance payment systems;
  • Hospital organization and governance; and
  • Legal and regulatory compliance issues.

A hospital must submit to DHSS a description of the course names, goals, and objectives for each of the required subject matters 60 days before offering a training program. The program may be offered in person at a classroom or seminar, online, by audio/webinar or through simulcast by approved training providers. Training providers are required to issue certificates of completion, which the hospital must maintain, to all attendees who successfully complete a course.

The regulations require general hospitals to file with their applications for licensure or licensure renewal the names of the chairperson and the members of the hospital’s governing body, the terms of office, and start and end dates for each member of the governing body.

New Jersey Gov. Jon S. Corzine signed into law in August 2008 legislation requiring all trustees and directors, appointed on or before April 30, 2007, to be subject to the same education requirements. The DHSS proposed to amend the education regulations on Dec. 1, 2008, to implement the August 2008 legislation, requiring all trustees appointed before April 30, 2007, to complete the training requirements by May 17, 2009.