Sanford Health and Fairview Health Services

Information about the Hospital Systems

Sanford Health is based out of Sioux Falls, South Dakota and has 47 medical centers with approximately 45,000 employees. It has Minnesota locations in mostly rural areas of Minnesota including hospitals in Bagley, Bemidji, Canby, Jackson, Luverne, Thief River Falls, Tracy, Westbrook, Wheaton and Worthington.

Fairview Health Services is based in Minneapolis and has about 31,000 employees. Fairview has 11 hospitals mostly in the Twin Cities including Masonic Children’s Hospital, Southdale in Edina, St. John’s in Maplewood, Bethesda in St. Paul, Ridges in Burnsville, Woodwinds in Woodbury, Northland in Princeton, Lakes in Wyoming, Grand Itasca in Grand Rapids, and the Range in Hibbing. Fairview owns the University of Minnesota Medical Center and has a partnership with the University of Minnesota Medical School and the University of Minnesota Physicians Group. The partnership between the U of M and Fairview ends in 2026 with an option for a 10-year extension in 2023.

On Tuesday, November 16, 2022, Sanford Health and Fairview Health Services announced that they intended to merge in 2023. In January 2023, as part of reviewing the proposed transaction, the Attorney General hosted a series of community meetings to directly gather feedback. The community meetings were held January 10 in St. Paul, January 17 in Bemidji, January 25 in Worthington and January 31 in Grand Rapids. They were open to the press and the public and livestreamed on Attorney General Ellison’s Facebook Page. Recordings of the livestreams are available for viewing on Attorney General Ellison’s Facebook Page. The initial announced target date to close the transaction was March 31, 2023. The target date then moved to May 31, 2023. When Fairview and Sanford postponed again, they did not set a new target close date, agreeing to give the Attorney General a 90-day advanced notice. On May 26, 2023, Governor Tim Walz signed into law New Requirements for Certain Health Care Entity Transactions. On Thursday, July 27, 2023, Fairview and Sanford announced that they were discontinuing merger talks.

Community Input Opportunities

While the Community Input Form regarding the proposed merger of Sanford and Fairview is now closed, consolidation continues to be a trend in health care, and the Attorney General is interested in hearing how proposed transactions may affect Minnesotans. The Minnesota Attorney General’s Office sought community input on the proposed merger. The Minnesota Attorney General’s Office used the information submitted by the public to evaluate the proposed transaction under existing laws, as well as to determine opportunities for changes or improvement to public policy, regulation, or state or federal law. Comments or information that members of the public submitted as part of this civil investigation are generally treated as “protected nonpublic data” under the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act.

The Attorney General is providing a new opportunity to report on Health Care Entities. Individuals can complete this Health Care Transactions Community Input Form. Members of the public are encouraged to contact the Attorney General’s Office about health care entities through the Community Input Form or by phone at (651) 296-3353 (Metro area) or (800) 657-3787 (Greater Minnesota).