Sanford Health and Fairview Health Services have signed a letter of intent to form a $14 billion health system, the Midwestern nonprofit companies announced Tuesday.
Sioux Falls, South Dakota-based Sanford Health, which operates 47 hospitals and medical centers predominantly in the Dakotas and Minnesota, would gain access to a major metropolitan market in Minnesota's Twin Cities, including the University of Minnesota Medical School. Minneapolis-based Fairview Health, which runs 11 hospitals in Minnesota, would join one of the nation's largest rural healthcare systems in Sanford Health, which also covers 220,000 health insurance members.
“We are confident that we can bring together an organization with a deeply rooted level of expertise around providing rural healthcare with an organization with a deep level of expertise around providing care in metro and urban committees to better serve patients,” said Sanford Health President and CEO Bill Gassen.
Gassen would be president and CEO of the combined company, which would assume the Sanford Health name. Fairview Health CEO James Hereford would be co-CEO for a year after the transaction closes. Each company would retain its regional presence, leadership and regional boards in their respective markets. The CEOs declined to share details on other leadership changes.
The transaction is slated to close next year. The companies don’t expect opposition from regulators because virtually no geographic overlap exists between the two health systems, executives said.
This is Sanford Health’s second attempt to join forces with Fairview Health. In 2013, then-Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson (D) criticized the deal, arguing that it wasn’t in the best interest of consumers in the North Star State.