- Banner Health is investing an undisclosed sum in Atlas Healthcare Partners, which manages and develops ambulatory surgery centers, the Phoenix-based system announced Tuesday.
- The investment expands the duo's existing relationship. Four years ago, the two formed a joint venture with the goal of growing the system's ambulatory surgery center footprint.
- The investment from Banner will help Atlas scale and "grow into a larger national partner for other health systems," according to Tuesday's statement.
Health systems continue to expand outpatient services as more care can be provided outside of the hospital.
Ambulatory surgery centers are a key piece of the outpatient strategy for some legacy hospital operators, especially Tenet Healthcare, which expects earnings from its ASC business to account for nearly half of the company's overall earnings by 2023, according to its latest earnings presentation. Tenet has used acquisitions to increase its size and scale.
For Banner, the investment means continued expansion under its surgery center network.
Following the investment, Banner expects to double its surgery center size and manage more than 50 ambulatory surgery centers by the end of 2025.
So far with Atlas as its partner, Banner has more than doubled its ambulatory surgery footprint since 2018, growing from just eight centers to 26 across Arizona, Colorado and Wyoming.
Based on that growth, Atlas' Chief Strategy and Growth Officer Scott Nordlund said "it was a logical next step for Banner to invest in Atlas to help the company scale and grow into a larger national partner for other health systems as well."
Banner Health operates more than 30 hospitals and has a significant footprint in Arizona. It also operates a health insurance unit, employed-physician group, home care and hospice services, among an array of other offerings. Banner has locations in California, Colorado, Nebraska, Nevada and Wyoming.