The fate of the blockbuster merger between Banner Health and the University of Arizona Health Network will be decided this week when the state's Board of Regents votes on whether to approve the deal.
The deal will bring together Arizona's only academic medical center with its largest health system, and could be an early indicator that teaching hospitals will be the next consolidation targets for deal-hungry providers.
The parties now aim to complete the $1 billion transaction Feb. 27. They previously had targeted a Jan. 31 closing date.
If the merger receives approval, UA's three academic medical centers, physician group and medical schools in Tucson and Phoenix will be renamed Banner-University Medical Division. Kathy Bollinger, now president of Banner's Arizona West Division, will serve as president of the university medical division, while UAHN's current president, Dr. Michael Waldrum, will leave the organization.
The Board of Regents, which governs the state's public universities, gave its approval last year to allowing the parties to negotiate, which permitted Banner and UAHN to enter formal discussions last June.
Under the terms of the agreement, Banner will commit at least $500 million to fund capital projects at UAHN over the next five years. It also will create a $300 million endowment for clinical research and pay off $146 million in UAHN debt.
Phoenix-based Banner has 24 hospitals, including 14 within Arizona. The University of Arizona Health Network includes three acute-care campuses with a combined 624 beds, a faculty of more than 800 physicians and three health plans.