University of Minnesota, Sanford courting Fairview Health Systems

Fairview Health Systems soon could be under new management. The University of Minnesota has proposed acquiring Fairview, which operates the university's main teaching hospital. Fairview also is in merger talks with Sanford Health, which is based in North and South Dakota and runs clinics in eight states.

Attorney General Lori Swanson said that Sunday's hearing at the Capitol on Fairview's future merely scratched the surface. She wants to have another hearing in two weeks.

"Swanson has been wary of the potential merger between Sanford and Fairview for a number of reasons," writes MPR News' Elizabeth Stawicki, "especially because Fairview is a charitable institution whose net worth of $1.2 billion in assets was created by Minnesotans through tax breaks, donations, and land for the benefit of Minnesotans."

DFL lawmakers Joe Atkins and Dan Schoen announced they are introducing legislation that would prevent University of Minnesota hospitals from being owned by an out-of-state entity. They said in a statement the legislation is designed to allow enough time to study the impact of a merger involving the university's hospital.

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