Sanford Health Further Surrounds Twin Cities by Merging with UnityPoint Health

[Update Dec. 3, 2019] Talks on this merger have fallen through according to the Star Tribune.


Sioux Falls, S.D.-based Sanford Health continues to surround–and take away potential market share–from health care organizations based in the the Twin Cities.

Yesterday, it signed a letter of intent to merge with UnityPoint Health of Des Moines, creating a giant Midwestern health care provider with $11 billion in annual revenue.  The new organization would employ more than 83,000 staff and 2,600 physicians and carry out operations in 26 states and nine countries, including hospitals, clinics, health plans and networks, post-acute care, research, innovation and other lines of business. It also would totally surround Minnesota, with operations in the Dakotas, Iowa, Illinois and Wisconsin.

Within the last eight years Sanford has quietly expanded its presence in western Minnesota, where it now has 20 locations extending from a major medical center in Bemidji in the north through Worthington in the south.

Thus far, it hasn’t entered the Twin Cities marketplace other than with a weight loss service called “Profile by Sanford.” Six years ago, Sanford attempted a merger with Minneapolis-based Fairview Health Services that never came to pass. It’s acquisition of Unity Point, however, allows it to slowly expand into the Greater Twin Cities area not only from the west, but now also from the south and east, by acquiring additional smaller players first in rural areas, and then in the suburbs.

Sanford currently includes 44 hospitals, 482 clinics, 242 senior living facilities, 190,00 health plan members, 1,453 physicians and more than 200 Good Samaritan Society senior care locations in 26 states and nine countries. It employs 48,622 people.

[Update, July 9, 2019] The Star Tribune finally covered this news today, adding this interesting information: “UnityPoint Health has a joint venture health insurance company that is co-owned by Bloomington-based HealthPartners. Two years ago, HealthPartners announced plans to offer certain Medicare health plans in conjunction with Sanford Health for beneficiaries in North and South Dakota.”