MINNEAPOLIS – Medical students rallied Friday afternoon on the University of Minnesota’s East Bank campus in Minneapolis against the proposed merger of the Fairview health system with South Dakota-based Sanford Health.
Second-year U-of-M medical student Allison Leopold said history shows that mergers increase out-of-pocket costs for patients.
“When the healthcare market consolidates, there’s less incentive for these big corporations to reduce prices for patients,” Leopold said. “So, while the Fairview and Sanford CEOs might say that the price will decrease, we actually know that historically that doesn’t happen.”
Leopold said cost increases for patients can be “pretty drastic” – up to 40 or 50 percent. Plus, historical data show that mergers result in closures of rural hospitals and clinics.
Fairview and Sanford executives said a merger will expand the range of health care services available to Greater Minnesota.