Sanford Health, Marshfield Clinic Announce Plans to Merge

July 11, 2024
Both nonprofit health systems have held merger talks with other potential partners over the past few years

Two Midwestern health systems that have been looking for merger partners for several years have announced plans to consolidate. South Dakota-based Sanford Health, the largest rural health system in the United States, plans to merge with Marshfield Clinic Health System, a physician-led integrated health system serving rural Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

Over the past few years, Sanford Health has held talks with Utah-based Intermountain Health and Minnesota-based  Fairview Health Services, but those deals did not proceed. The Minnesota Legislature passed a law that would require a state review of some proposed mergers of hospitals or healthcare systems – and allow them to be blocked if they are deemed detrimental to the public or would lead to reduced health outcomes for Minnesotans, which may have complicated the Fairview deal.

Marshfield had considered a merger with Minnesota-based Essentia Health before calling off talks in January 2024. 

If the merger between Sanford and Marshfield goes through, the combined system will have nearly 56,000 employees, 56 hospitals, 4,300 providers, two integrated health plans, specialty pharmacies and research institutions. Using each organization’s respective health plan, Sanford Health Plan and Security Health Plan, will allow the fully integrated system to serve more than 425,000 members, maximizing the benefits it can deliver to patients and members through shared governance, Sanford said.

The nonprofit health systems said the combination will improve patient outcomes through broader population health initiatives, value-based care programs and new innovative care delivery models and expand the breadth and depth of research capabilities, including increasing access to nearly 1,000 active clinical trials and clinical studies and combining research expertise to bring new treatments and cures to patients.

“Partnering with Sanford Health presents an incredible opportunity for our organizations to unify and establish the premier rural health system in the nation,” said Brian Hoerneman, M.D., interim CEO of Marshfield Clinic Health System, in a statement. “Together, we will ensure sustainable access to exceptional care for our communities for years to come. With a shared mission to serve, a mutual emphasis on research and education, and a strong tradition of physician leadership, Sanford Health is the ideal partner for this endeavor.”

Upon finalization of the combination, the name of the parent company will be Sanford Health, with system headquarters in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.  Marshfield Clinic Health System will be a region within Sanford Health and maintain regional leadership with its flagship medical campus in Marshfield, Wisconsin, a regional board of directors, a regional physician executive council and regional brand presence.  Sanford Health president and CEO Bill Gassen will serve as president and CEO of the combined system. Marshfield Clinic Health System interim CEO, Brian Hoerneman, M.D., will serve as president and CEO of the Marshfield Clinic Health System region.

The combination is expected to close by the end of the year, subject to regulatory processes and closing conditions.

 

Sponsored Recommendations

Enhancing Remote Radiology: How Zero Trust Access Revolutionizes Healthcare Connectivity

This content details how a cloud-enabled zero trust architecture ensures high performance, compliance, and scalability, overcoming the limitations of traditional VPN solutions...

Spotlight on Artificial Intelligence

Unlock the potential of AI in our latest series. Discover how AI is revolutionizing clinical decision support, improving workflow efficiency, and transforming medical documentation...

Beyond the VPN: Zero Trust Access for a Healthcare Hybrid Work Environment

This whitepaper explores how a cloud-enabled zero trust architecture ensures secure, least privileged access to applications, meeting regulatory requirements and enhancing user...

Enhancing Remote Radiology: How Zero Trust Access Revolutionizes Healthcare Connectivity

This content details how a cloud-enabled zero trust architecture ensures high performance, compliance, and scalability, overcoming the limitations of traditional VPN solutions...