The Latest: Sanford, Mid Dakota Clinic merger contested

Markets Associated Press

The Latest on the proposed merger of Sanford Health and Mid Dakota Clinic (all times local):

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3:05 p.m.

The Federal Trade Commission and North Dakota Attorney General are trying to block Sanford Health's proposed merger with Mid Dakota Clinic.

The two agencies jointly filed a complaint in U.S. District Court alleging the deal would violate antitrust law by significantly reducing competition in Bismarck-Mandan.

The regulators are seeking a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction to stop the deal until the matter can go to trial.

The two providers told The Bismarck Tribune that the actions are "extremely frustrating" and said they used national, legal and economic experts to evaluate the partnership.

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7:15 a.m.

Sanford Health and Mid Dakota Clinic have plans to merge.

Mid Dakota Clinic has nearly 100 physicians who serve patients in the Bismarck-Mandan area.

Sanford Bismarck Executive Vice President Craig Lambrecht says the merger should speed construction projects for women's, children's cancer, surgical suites, specialty procedure rooms and trauma.

Executives say the merger also will allow the combined provider to recruit a number of subspecialists, such as pediatric gastroenterology. So patients will no longer have to travel outside the community for care.

Sanford Health was formed in 2009 when Sanford in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, merged with Meritcare in Fargo, North Dakota. Three years later, the new Sanford Health bought Medcenter One in Bismarck. Sanford now bills itself as one of the largest health systems in the nation.

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Information from: Bismarck Tribune, http://www.bismarcktribune.com