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Banner Health, UA hospital system may merge

PHOENIX — Phoenix-based Banner Health is expanding — and in a big way.

The Phoenix Business Journal reported that the state’s largest health system plans on buying the University of Arizona hospital system in Tucson, Ariz.

Banner has agreed to pay $300 million to establish the Academic Enhancement Fund, pay another $146 million to pay off the University of Arizona Health Network’s long-term debt and will commit to $500 million for capital projects in Tucson to support the clinical enterprise over five years.

The Arizona Board of Regents will vote Thursday on whether or not negotiations between Banner and UA will continue.

If approved, Banner will not only own the University of Arizona Medical Center, they will also own three UA-owned health plans and take on the lease of the medical center’s South Campus.