Boone Hospital to end lease with BJC

The company has run operation for 30 years

COLUMBIA, Mo. - BJC HealthCare will no longer run Boone Hospital Center after Dec. 31, 2020.

The Boone Hospital Board of Trustees said in a news release Tuesday that it had reached an agreement with BJC leaders to end BJC's management of the hospital. 

The trustees have been reviewing options for hospital management since last October. BJC had leased the hospital from the trustees for more than 30 years and the trustees were obligated to tell the St. Louis-based company by the end of this year whether the lease would be renewed.

The trustees had to notify BJC if they wished to terminate the five-year lease, which would have automatically renewed in 2020, by the end of this year. BJC runs the hospital and shares part of the profit with the board of trustees and Boone County government.

The trustees had been in exclusive negotiations with University of Missouri Health Care to take over management of the hospital, but those negotiations were put on hold in January.

The trustees are also exploring proposals from Duke/LifePoint Health Care and St. Luke's Health System, which is based in Kansas City. Another option is for the trustees to run the hospital as a standalone operation.

BJC had already called the partnership into question. In a letter written in 2016, BJC officials said the current lease is "no longer responsive to what the hospital will need to succeed and thrive in the years ahead."

BJC had wanted a 30-year lease term. 

The trustees in their release announcing the termination of the BJC lease said they anticipate "Boone Hospital's financial results will not be immune to the challenges facing non-academic, community hospitals nationally." 

The board and its investment banking firm have "expanded and accelerated our process to evaluate management partners and operational models, including proceeding as a standalone hospital post-December 2020," according to the release. 

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