Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Sanford Health to Merge with Intermountain Healthcare

One of South Dakota’s largest healthcare providers is merging with an out-of-state system. Sanford Health plans to merge with Intermountain Healthcare, a system serving Idaho, Utah and Nevada.

The CEO of Intermountain will eventually take over for Sanford’s Kelby Krabbenhoft.

Sanford Health president and CEO Kelby Krabbenhoft is planning to retire in a few years. After more than two decades overseeing the Sioux-Falls based health system, he’d already made plans for his successor. Then, he met the president and CEO of Intermountain Healthcare.

“I couldn’t think of a better person to hand over what I’ve been overseeing for 25 years than Marc Harrison,” says Krabbenhoft.

Dr. Marc Harrison will serve as president and CEO of the combined organizations. He says joining with Sanford isn't a financial necessity for either organization. Rather, it’s necessary for the future of healthcare.

“Families are afraid. ‘What happens if I get sick? Am I going to lose my house? Am I going to lose my job?’ None of that should ever happen in the systems we run," says Dr. Harrison. "We think the antidote of that is a system at scale across the interior west of the United States that’s predicated on population health and value and affordability for the people we’re privileged to serve.”

Once combined, the systems will insure more than a million people across 24 states. Kelby Krabbenhoft says it makes sense for the systems to work together to serve that wide population.

“People in our region will have the choice, the opportunity to buy their insurance from their healthcare provider in a way that reduces their premium or holds it to a rational level of increases.”

Both organizations will continue to operate under their current names. Corporate offices will remain in Sioux Falls, but corporate headquarters will move to Salt Lake City, Utah.

The merger is dependent on federal and state approval, but that process is expected to close by summer of 2021.