Fairview, Sanford say university may return hospital, but details are unclear

Ahead of the proposed merger, Fairview Health Services and Sanford Health have offered to return hospitals on the east and west shores of Minneapolis to the University of Minnesota, but the details of the deal remain unclear, according to data. star tribune.

On March 6, Fairview CEO James Hereford and Sanford CEO Bill Gassen signed a letter endorsing a plan to transfer medical facilities to the university. However, Fairview and the university have historically disagreed on whether the acquisition should be a market value sale or a transfer of philanthropic assets back to the government.

“The focus is on public value, not on the commercial issue of fair market value,” university leaders told Mr. Hereford and Mr. Gassin.

In 1997, Minneapolis-based Fairview paid $87.5 million to acquire the university’s flagship East Bank Medical Center and merge it with Riverside Hospital on the West Bank. But once the health system expressed its intent to merge with Sioux Falls, Sanford of South South Carolina, university officials and students raised the alarm, arguing that a highly ranked academic medical center would lose integrity if linked to an unranked Sanford medical school. In addition, community and university leaders say the taxpayer-funded university, which educates 70 percent of the state’s doctors, should not be controlled by a foreign organization.

In January, the university unveiled a five-point strategic plan that included the re-acquisition of its flagship facilities. In February, he asked state legislators for $950 million to acquire and pay for the initial operating costs of these facilities.

It is unclear whether the university, which is backed by government politicians and has strong bargaining power, will step back and allow the merger to proceed after it buys those assets. The state continues to hold hearings on the matter, and Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison is still considering possible implications for charitable and business competition laws.

Meanwhile, controversy over the proposed merger pushed its closing date from March to May.

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