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Tuolumne County Planning To Continue With Manteca Ambulance

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Sonora, CA — An amended contract with Manteca District Ambulance Services (MDA) will go before the Tuolumne County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday.

The county has contracted with MDA since 1987 as part of a public-private partnership. The contract cost Tuolumne County just over $4-million last fiscal year. The county has five advanced life support ambulances and four stations.

We reported in January that MDA gave Tuolumne County a six-month notice that it would be terminating the contract because of concerns like the need for additional revenue, and challenges in hiring staff. The district had also earlier requested a cap on transfers from Adventist Health Sonora and the elimination of psychiatric transports, both of which Tuolumne County leaders opposed.

The two sides have now reached a compromise, that appeases both parties, and it will be voted on at Tuesday’s meeting that starts at 9am. Details can be found below:

• Term: The new term of the agreement will be through June of 2026. There is no longer a need to negotiate on an annual basis to extend the term.

• Compensation: Under the new amendment, the annual contract amount will increase by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Cost Index for total compensation of state and local government workers in professional and related occupations with a minimum increase of 1.5% and a maximum increase of 5%. Under the current agreement if the CPI is less than 1.5% or greater than 5% the County and MDA would negotiate the new rate. This new language will eliminate the need for annual negotiations which has allowed for the term to be solidified through June of 2026.

• Assignment: For the purposes of providing transfers of medical or behavioral health patients from Adventist Health Sonora to facilities outside Tuolumne County, MDA  can now coordinate with other providers to complete that transfer. Under the current agreement, this is prohibited without written consent from the County. This action will allow MDA to keep services available in Tuolumne County for 911 calls.

• Termination: Currently any party wishing to terminate services must provide 6 months’ notice. The amendment extends that notice to 12 months. Additionally, if MDA does give notice of termination in the future, they would continue services through the 12 month period until services were transitioned to a new provider while assisting with the transition period.

• AB389 Compliance:  Additional language was added to the amendment to meet the requirements of the newly enacted AB 389.