Barnett Sues Banner Health System
(Pierre) – Attorney General Mark Barnett filed two lawsuits against an Arizona Health Care Company today. Barnett suits were filed against Banner Health System in state courts in Lawrence and Gregory Counties.
The state is challenging Banner Health System’s decision to use all the proceeds from the sale of its South Dakota facilities to support its operations in Arizona and Colorado. The state is arguing that the sale proceeds should remain in the communities in which the facilities are located.
The Rosebud Nursing Home, Gregory Hospital and Eureka Health Care Center are being sold by Banner to Avera Health. Lookout Memorial Hospital and Dorsett Home in Spearfish, Belle Fourche Health Care Facility, and Sturgis Community Health Center were sold by Banner to Rapid City Regional Hospital,Inc.
The state is asking the court to impose a charitable trust for the benefit of the communities affected by the sales.
Barnett said he is not challenging the actual sale of the facilities to Rapid City Regional Hospital, Inc. and Avera Health. He is only challenging Banner’s decision to take the sale proceeds out of the communities.
“These facilities were built on the donations and patronage of the communities. That money should stay in those communities,” said Barnett. “I am going to fight to protect their investment.”