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Arizona health program concerned about hospitals' merger plan

University of Arizona Medical Center

PHOENIX -- Arizona's Medicaid program has expressed concern about Phoenix-based Banner Health's planned merger with the University of Arizona's hospitals and medical clinics.

The board that oversees the state university system in June approved the merger that could make Banner the state's largest private employer.

Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System Director Thomas Betlach said the state system is requiring University Health Care and Banner to submit documents related to the planned merger.

Betlach noted that Banner last year failed to win an AHCCCS contract and he said the merger means the state system has "tremendous concerns regarding the integrity of the competitive procurement process."

Acording to Betlach, the system may terminate, modify or continue its existing contracts with University Health Care's network in response to the planned merger.

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