Banner Health posted healthy income gains in 2016 despite a $153.8 million operating loss in its insurance operations.
Banner Health said Wednesday that it has acquired 32 urgent-care centers in Arizona from Urgent Care Extra. Banner, which operates hospitals in seven Western states, said that the centers provide an important access point for patients outside of hospital emergency departments.
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act—the law the federal government uses to police the privacy and security of the nation's health information—is turning 20, and some people may wonder if it's up to the job in 2016 and beyond.
An Arizona physician is the lead plaintiff in a class-action lawsuit alleging Banner Health is offering inadequate protection to victims of a massive data breach disclosed last week.
Cybersecurity experts advise that the two types of data should be stored in computer systems separated by a firewall to avoid leaving both vulnerable if one is hacked. At Banner Health, both systems were penetrated.
Banner Health is contacting 3.7 million individuals whose personal information may have been accessed in a cyberattack that began on systems that process credit card payments for food and beverage purchases. The breach then expanded to include patient and health plan information.
The Phoenix metro area is booming. Once-sleepy neighborhoods are seeing real estate bidding wars. New housing developments are appearing where there once was nothing. Against that backdrop, healthcare in Phoenix is reorganizing as systems compete for patients and the doctors who refer them.
Banner Health is starting to stabilize its financial picture after an unexpectedly tough year. But while its finances looked stronger in the first quarter of 2016, most of the growth came from its legacy operations while new acquisitions and new payment models continued to create challenges.
Banner Health's operating surplus dropped by more than half in 2015 as the Phoenix-based system struggled to integrate its University of Arizona Health Network acquisition.
Hospitals and physician groups are consolidating, too, but most of the leaders on Modern Healthcare's Power Panel are more concerned about the financial impact of the pending health insurance megamergers.
The hospital of the future might not be a hospital at all, having little resemblance to today's sprawling brick and mortar facilities. Yet the latest and greatest technologies will require additional bandwidth that many hospitals haven't previously anticipated.
Ascension is looking to its Caribbean joint venture with India's Narayana Health to provide a model for enhancing hospital productivity. But bringing the model home would require major changes in physician and nurse behavior, an overhaul in surgical and postoperative care, and regulatory reforms.