Arizona health program concerned about merger plan

PHOENIX - Arizona's Medicaid program is expressing concern about Phoenix-based Banner Health's planned acquisition of 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 (BET'-lack) says the state system is requiring University Health Care and Banner to submit documents related to the planner merger.

Betlach notes that Banner last year failed to win an AHCCCS contract and he says the planner 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 acquisition.

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