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Before Banner Health agreed to shore up a pair of financially struggling medical schools, leaders framed such partnerships as a “must” for Arizona.

It’s come with a hefty price tag. Financial statements show the Phoenix-based health system has dedicated roughly $2 billion to the schools and a faculty medical group it bought as part of the deal, which closed in 2015. Meanwhile, Banner’s operating margin has slipped from 5% before the deal to 1%.

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