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Arizona health program concerned about hospitals’ merger plan

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


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