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  • Supervisors OK transferring county hospital lease to Banner

    Jan 07, 2015 | Read More News
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    The Pima County Board of Supervisors today voted 4-1 to approve transferring the lease of the county’s hospital from University of Arizona Health Network to Banner University Medical Center South Campus, LLC, in anticipation of Banner’s merger with UAHN. Supervisor Ally Miller was the dissenting vote.

    Banner and the Arizona Board of Regents announced last summer the intent of the Phoenix-based hospital corporation to merge with UAHN, which owns University Medical Center and operates the county’s hospital, formerly Kino and currently called University of Arizona Medical Center South Campus . 

    Pima County reached an agreement with UAHN’s predecessor, University Physicians Healthcare, in 2004 to take over operation of the county facility. UPH subsequently merged with the company operating University Medical Center to form UAHN, prompting a new lease agreement with the county in 2010.

    Since UPH/UAHN took over operation of the hospital the number of annual patient days has increased by 124 percent, the average daily census has increased 78 percent, surgeries have increased 434 percent, and clinic visits have increased 237 percent. 

    As part of the county’s agreement with UAHN and the Arizona Board of Regents, the county provides $15 million a year to UAHN in consideration for a variety of services being provided at the South Campus complex that benefit the county and the health of its residents. Part of that contribution is used for Medicare’s Graduate Medical Education program, which allows the hospital to have these funds matched by the federal government at a more than a 2:1 ratio.  

    Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry, in his request for approval to the board, wrote, “The hospital continues to increase patient services, train a new generation of Pima County health care professionals, and improve the health of the community. Pima County staff will continue to monitor the operations of the hospital and Banner Health will be held to the same rigorous standards as was its predecessor and as befits an agency receiving Pima County funding.”

    The merger is expected to be finalized later this month .