Banner Health acquiring Tucson home health agency

PHOENIX, Ariz. – Banner Health, the state’s largest health system, has signed a letter of intent to purchase SunLife Home Health, a Medicare-certified home health agency that has been serving the Tucson area since 2010. 

The transaction is expected to close on Jan. 31, pending regulatory and other approvals. 

SunLife has two lines of business: Medicare-certified home health services and private duty home care services. Banner health is only purchasing SunLife’s Medicare-certified home health business, which provides skilled nursing and physical, occupational and speech therapy to mostly elderly people who are recovering at home from a medical episode that required a hospital stay.

Upon completion of the sale, Banner will assume 100 percent ownership of SunLife’s home health business, and transition those operations into Banner Home Care, the home care division of Banner Health. 

While it does not currently provide home health services in Tucson, Banner Home Care is the largest home health service provider in Arizona serving the Phoenix metro area and Payson, employing about 550 people and serving roughly 15,000 home health patients annually. Banner Home Care also provides home health services in the Northern Colorado market. 

“This purchase provides a tremendous opportunity for us to expand our Banner Home Care operations into southern Arizona,” said Lynn Rosenbach, Banner’s vice president of post-acute services and CEO of Banner Home Care. “SunLife has built a wonderful reputation for compassionate, patient-centered care, a reputation we are determined to preserve and build upon as we begin providing services on Feb. 1.”

“I’m thrilled to work with Banner Health on this transaction because I know they will provide the same high quality care our patients are accustomed to,” said SunLife Owner Rob Murphy.

Rosenbach said home health services are a natural extension of the medical services Banner currently provides in Southern Arizona through its two Tucson hospitals, Banner - University Medical Center Tucson and Banner – University Medical Center South. 

Rosenbach said her team is working diligently to ensure that SunLife’s patients and families experience a smooth and seamless transition to Banner’s care. 

To that end, Banner hopes to retain most or all of SunLife’s employees, converting them to Banner Home Care employees once the purchase is completed. Additionally, Murphy has agreed to serve in a consulting role for up to six months to aid in the transition.

Banner plans to remain in SunLife’s current office location at 627 N. 6th Ave. in Tucson until a new, permanent office location can be established later this year.

Headquartered in Arizona, Banner Health is one of the largest nonprofit health care systems in the country. The system owns and operates 28 acute-care hospitals, Banner Health Network, Banner – University Medicine, Banner Medical Group, long-term care centers, outpatient surgery centers and an array of other services, including Banner Urgent Care, family clinics, home care and hospice services, pharmacies and a nursing registry. Banner Health is in six states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Nebraska, Nevada and Wyoming.