Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Arizona and Banner Health, Phoenix, have agreed to align and form a joint venture to provide Medicare services in Arizona, according to a news release.
Banner to form joint venture with Ariz. Blues plan
Officials said both groups will participate equally in the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Arizona Advantage. “This is an opportunity to capitalize on the strengths of the Blue Cross Blue Shield brand to position our company to more efficiently and effectively serve expanding markets in the government sector," said Arizona Blues President and CEO Richard Boals in the release. “By joining with Banner to offer Medicare products, we're now able to offer a broader range of services that furthers our position to compete as an industry leader during a transformative time in the healthcare industry.”
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Arizona offers Medicare Part D drug benefits to more than 23,000 in the state. The joint venture with Banner will bring that number to 25,000, according to the release. Current Banner members will continue to keep their coverage. Banner includes more than 2,500 healthcare providers in Maricopa (Az.) County, and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Arizona's network includes 18,000 providers.
“This is an ideal opportunity for Banner to leverage our comprehensive network of quality providers,” Banner President and CEO Peter Fine said in the release.
Not-for-profit Banner includes 10 hospitals in Arizona and also has facilities in six other states.
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