In addition to other powers granted to public hospital districts by chapter 39.34
RCW, rural public hospital districts may enter into cooperative agreements and contracts with other rural public hospital districts in order to provide for the health care needs of the people served by the hospital districts. These agreements and contracts are specifically authorized to include:
(1) Allocation of health care services among the different facilities owned and operated by the districts;
(2) Combined purchases and allocations of medical equipment and technologies;
(3) Joint agreements and contracts for health care service delivery and payment with public and private entities; and
(4) Other cooperative arrangements consistent with the intent of chapter 161, Laws of 1992. The provisions of chapter 39.34
RCW shall apply to the development and implementation of the cooperative contracts and agreements.
Intent—1992 c 161:
"The legislature finds that maintaining the viability of health care service delivery in rural areas of Washington is a primary goal of state health policy. The legislature also finds that most hospitals located in rural Washington are operated by public hospital districts authorized under chapter 70.44
RCW and declares that it is not cost-effective, practical, or desirable to provide quality health and hospital care services in rural areas on a competitive basis because of limited patient volume and geographic isolation. It is the intent of this act to foster the development of cooperative and collaborative arrangements among rural public hospital districts by specifically authorizing cooperative agreements and contracts for these entities under the interlocal cooperation act." [ 1992 c 161 § 1.