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District's Lease Agreement

I’ve read that the Mark Twain Health Care District is in the process of reviewing its lease agreement that expires December 31, 2019 with the Medical Center and possibly looking at other options – why is the lease expiring and why must it be reviewed?

Under California law, lease agreements between health care districts and hospitals cannot exceed 30 years. The Mark Twain Health Care District is approaching the 30-year deadline on the agreement entered into in 1989 with St. Joseph’s Hospital in Stockton, and later assumed by its affiliated partner, Catholic Healthcare West in 1996. Catholic Health Care West changed its name to Dignity Health in 2012. Although the lease cannot be renewed, the Mark Twain Health Care District does have the challenge and responsibility of designing a new operations business plan for the Medical Center and the clinics. Several options are available to the District and the county. See more information on our options below.

What options is the Mark Twain Health Care District considering for the future of the Mark Twain Medical Center?

The Mark Twain Health Care District Board has been carefully considering its options with the foremost goals of maintaining our rich history of providing quality health care in our rural region while also continuing to improve access to care and health technology for generations to come.

The options before the District regarding our lease agreement with the Medical Center include:

  • Opting for a new agreement with the current affiliate, Dignity Health
  • Opting for an agreement with another affiliate
  • Running the hospital independently
  • Operating the hospital with a management services agreement

Regardless of the option pursued, a new lease agreement must be negotiated and finalized. Under California law, a health care district cannot just renew a lease.

Will the Mark Twain Medical Center continue to be in our community?

The Mark Twain Health Care District along with our community partners is diligently working to ensure a bright and secure future for the Mark Twain Medical Center in Calaveras County. Healthcare and hospital operations entail many challenges but also bring opportunity for growth. Calaveras County
residents have a history of supporting our Medical Center and ensuring its role in the community is maintained. We are grateful for voters’ role in advocating for quality access to care in our community and encourage the community to continue to show their support for Calaveras County having its own thriving Medical Center.

What is the timeline for the Mark Twain Health Care District to determine the next lease agreement?

A new lease agreement must be in place by December 31, 2019.

The District provides monthly updates on the status of the lease negotiations at its open, public meetings that are the fourth Wednesday of each month at 7:30 a.m. in the hospital classrooms.

If the District decides to lease the hospital, the District will put its recommendation before voters, who must approve it, on a forthcoming election in 2018. If the District decides to use an independent management company, a vote is not necessary under California law.