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August 31, 2012

Nonprofit Merger to Unite Major Minnesota Health Networks

Marking the biggest health-care merger in the Twin Cities area in two decades, two of the area's biggest nonprofit health systems have signed a pact to join forces, the Star Tribune reports.

Pending regulatory approval, the deal between HealthPartners and Park Nicollet will create Minnesota's second-largest hospital network in financial terms and could be the start of a statewide wave of health-care consolidation as providers face rising costs and the rollout of the Affordable Care Act.

The combined entity, with some 1,500 physicians and two of the region's premier hospitals, will maintain the HealthPartners name and be linked to the eponymous insurance provider, which covers 1.4 million people.

Keith Halleland, a Minneapolis health-care lawyer, said the deal shows organizations are thinking about how to "provide total cost of care for a variety of populations—people with disabilities, diabetes, heart disease. It's not so much about all these special centers anymore, but pairing up with them so you have one organization that can do everything for basically everyone in the health care environment."