Washington State

House of Representatives

Office of Program Research



Local Government Committee

HB 1274

This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.

Brief Description: Concerning the population restrictions for a geographic area to qualify as a rural public hospital district.

Sponsors: Representatives Smith, Lytton, Morris, Bailey, Kristiansen and Pearson.

Brief Summary of Bill

  • Increases the city population limit within the definition of a rural public hospital district from 30,000 to 50,000 persons.

Hearing Date: 1/26/11

Staff: Miranda Leskinen (786-7291) and Ethan Moreno (786-7386).


Public hospital districts, also known as public health care service districts, are community-created, publicly-owned governmental entities authorized by the state to deliver health services appropriate to the public, provided services include acute, outpatient, rehabilitative, and nursing home care, as well as ambulance services.

There are 56 public hospital districts in Washington. Nearly half of the hospitals in the state are public hospital districts, most of which are in rural areas. A rural public hospital district is defined as a public hospital district that does not include cities with more than 30,000 residents.

Rural public hospital districts have the authority to make cooperative agreements and contracts with other rural public hospital districts to meet district needs. These agreements and contracts may specify the following:

other cooperate arrangements.

Summary of Bill:

The city population limit used to qualify a public hospital district as a rural public hospital district is increased from 30,000 to 50,000 persons.

Appropriation: None.

Fiscal Note: Not requested.

Effective Date: The bill takes effect 90 days after adjournment of the session in which the bill is passed.