CASPER, Wyo — The Board of Natrona County Commissioners (BOCC) will vote on a resolution authorizing the sale of Wyoming Medical Center (WMC) to non-profit, Arizona-based Banner Health on Thursday, August 13 at 1:00 pm.
Prior to Thursday’s meeting, both the WMC board of directors and the county-appointed Memorial Hospital Board of Trustees will put forth their formal recommendations. BOCC Chairman Rob Hendry told Oil City News Tuesday that he expects both boards to approve the sale. Pending those recommendations, Thursday’s BOCC Special Meeting resolution would finalize the deal.
The county commissioners held two rounds of public hearings regarding the sale in late July. The sale had broad support from WMC’s board of directors, which said that essential services would be statutorily enforced, that all staff and salaries would be retained for at least a year, and that WMC would have access to more resources through Banner Health’s purchasing supply network. WMC leadership also said that Banner’s resources would help buffer WMC from an uncertain future of rising health care costs.
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Skeptics of the deal, including some from the medical community, feared that physicians would lose some independence working for Banner Health. Some also cited studies saying that hospital mergers led to increased costs for consumers.