- Phoenix-based Banner Health signed a letter of intent to acquire SunLife Home Health, a Medicare-certified home health agency operating in Tucson, the Phoenix Business Journal reported.
- The planned deal marks Banner’s initial push into the southern Arizona home health care market.
- Banner is not new to Tucson, however. The health system runs two hospitals — Banner-University Medical Center Tucson and Banner-University Medical Center South — acquired from the University of Arizona Health Network for $1.2 billion in 2015.
With the aging of the U.S. population, demand for home health services is expected to grow. The number of agencies providing such services spiked from 8,314 in 2005 to 12,400 in 2014. In 2013, the pool of patients who received and ended care any time during the year included 4.9 million Americans. Home health services and palliative care could be big plays as the American population continues to age (one projection estimates 83.7 million individuals aged 65 and over in 2050).
On Tuesday, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services finalized a rule setting minimum standards for home health providers that participate in Medicare and Medicaid. The requirements are intended to support a “patient-centered, data-driven, outcome-oriented process that promotes high quality patient care at all times for all patients,” the rule says.
Banner Home Care is Arizona’s largest home health provider, serving about 15,000 patients in Phoenix and Payson. The division also serves patients in northern Colorado.