Phoenix Children's Hospital has operated a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center for many years, until a legal ruling Jan. 7 allowed Banner to take over the NICU operation.
This transition is the result of a binding arbitration ruling related to PCH’s strategic alignment with Dignity Health Arizona/St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center. The NICU lease contained a provision that allowed Banner to terminate if PCH became aligned with another Arizona health system. The provision was included because the NICU is on Banner Health’s largest campus at Banner Good Samaritan, which created significant concern as to the appropriateness of PCH’s continued involvement in the NICU due to its alignment with another health system.
The business decision made by PCH to align with Dignity's St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center triggered the voluntary termination of their lease. The effect of this affiliation on this provision of the NICU lease was the issue before the arbitrator, and she agreed with Banner’s position.
"Banner Health and PCH are collaborating to create a plan that will ensure a smooth transition process for NICU patients and their families, and NICU staff and physicians. All PCH NICU staff at Banner Good Samaritan will be offered the opportunity to continue providing care in the Banner Good Samaritan NICU or other Level lll NICUs within Banner. Additionally, Banner Good Samaritan will work closely with NICU volunteer staff so that they can continue providing their invaluable TLC to babies and families in the NICU," a Banner Health press release stated.
Level III NICUs are operated at Phoenix Children's Hospital, St. Joseph's Medical Center and Banner Good Samaritan, as well as Cardon Children's and Banner Thunderbird in the Phoenix area.