Improving the health and wellness of the communities we serve
Visit Hi-Desert Medical Center’s website at HDMC.org
America’s community hospitals are under siege and fighting an uphill battle against rising healthcare expenses, challenging regulatory hurdles, and an inadequate reimbursement structure. There has been a ten percent reduction in the number of hospital beds in California between 2002 and 2009 and emergency department visits in the U.S. have increased by as much as 30 percent (Hsia, Renee Y., M.D., “Factors Associates with Closures at Emergency Departments in the U.S.” 305 (19) JAMA 1978 (May 18, 2011).
Hi-Desert Medical Center serves as a “safety net” for healthcare in the Morongo Basin and its rural populations, providing charity and uncompensated care to those in need, absorbing $6 million in bad debt and 2.1 million in charity care in 2014. Facing mounting pressure from all sides on its mission to provide quality healthcare, and lacking the necessary resources to effectively combat rising healthcare costs and ever-expanding regulatory oversight, the healthcare District Board of Directors realized that Hi-Desert Medical Center could no longer stand alone in the delivery of healthcare to the Basin.
The Directors sought voter approval to lease the operation of Hi-Desert Medical Center and its related facilities to Tenet Healthcare Corporation for 30 years. This agreement ensured continued healthcare services in the Basin without an increase in cost to taxpayers. Tenet does not receive taxpayer monies through the agreement.
Tenet agreed to pay the District an annual lease rent of $2 million, effective immediately; and a percentage of additional funding sources after the initial four years have passed, for the 30-year lease term. The healthcare District, under the leadership of the elected District board members, will use these funds to support health care-related services to the communities served by the District.
Both Hi-Desert Family Health Clinics and Hi-Desert Memorial Health Care District Foundation are not a part of these agreements and remain with the District.