Sanford, Fairview talking about merging the health systems

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Two large health care systems in Minnesota and the Dakotas are negotiating a merger that its leaders say would improve patient care and help them deal with economic challenges.

Combining Sanford, based in Sioux Falls, South Dakota and Fairview, headquartered in Minneapolis, would create one of the largest health care providers in the Upper Midwest. The merged system would be based in Sioux Falls and include 78,000 employees and more than 50 hospitals, including the University of Minnesota Medical Center.

Sanford and Fairview must still convince regulators and state lawmakers that the merger is a good idea. The two systems are hoping to reach a deal in 2023.