Hoist this Banner high! Banner Health is one of the largest secular not-for-profit health systems in the US. The organization operates nearly two dozen hospitals (with roughly 4,000 beds). It also operates clinics, nursing homes, clinical laboratories, ambulatory surgery centers, home health agencies, and other healthcare-related organizations, including physician practices and a captive insurance company. Banner Health participates in medical research in areas such as Alzheimer's disease and spinal cord injuries through its Banner Sun Health Research division. The company provides services in seven states in the western US; its largest concentration of facilities is in Arizona.
Banner Health is one of the first not-for-profit hospital operators to reinsure its employees through its captive insurance company, Samaritan Insurance Funding. By offering this service, Banner Health is able to diversify its risk, improve cash flow, and lower life insurance costs by about half a million dollars a year.
The multi-specialty system also operates a health plan in Arizona for Medicare-eligible patients. Its MediSunONE plan includes Medicare and Medicare Part D. In late 2011 the company joined forces with Aetna in what is called an accountable care collaboration (ACO). An ACO uses technology and a team-based approach to care for the hospital's patients. Doctors and hospitals assume accountability for patient outcomes and are rewarded financially for achieving higher quality, greater efficiency, and overall better patient outcomes. The partnership also includes a new product called Aetna Whole Health that allows Banner's patients access to a line of Aetna services, including their own electronic patient record. In 2012 Banner collaborated with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona to create a joint venture called The Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona Advantage. Pending regulatory approval, the joint venture will provide enhanced Medicare plans and services to an estimated 25,000 Medicare Advantage enrollees in Arizona.
Banner Health's income is generally derived through three channels: third-party payers, such as commercial insurance, managed care agreements, Medicare and Medicaid, and a small portion of self-pay patients, as well as by borrowing funds and receiving philanthropic donations.
Its revenues grew by 3% in 2011. However, its net loss increased by 105%.
The health system tends to grow through construction. Banner Health is nearly always engaged in some sort of construction, renovation, or upgrade at its numerous facilities. The organization has more than $1 billion in construction projects in progress or completed in recent years. The system has expanded its facilities at Banner Baywood Medical Center, Banner Del E. Webb Medical Center, Banner Desert Medical Center, Banner Thunderbird Medical Center, Cardon Children's Medical Center, and McKee Medical Center.
Banner Health also partners with M.D. Anderson Cancer Center to operate a comprehensive cancer center in Phoenix. Services include medical oncology, radiation oncology, surgical oncology, pathology, laboratory, diagnostic imaging, as well as other supportive clinical services. M.D. Anderson has clinical oversight for all aspects of care delivery. In 2012 the Center announced a $62.6 million expansion program to increase capacity.
Education looms large on Banner Health's list of priorities -- the hospital operates one of the country's largest simulation education centers at its Banner Corporate Center-Mesa. Simulation education is an expanding field in which medical students use computerized mannequins to improve their surgical and medical skills. The school's research has paid off and with Scottsdale Healthcare Osborn Medical Center, Banner Health invented the Sapien Transcatheter Heart Valve, an artificial heart valve that can replace a diseased aortic heart valve without the open heart surgery that previously was required.
Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center opened its doors as a 20-bed hospital in 1911. The medical center, which is four months older than the state of Arizona marked its 100th anniversary in October 2011. – less