MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The University of Minnesota has proposed that it take over Fairview Health Services, the system that operates the university’s teaching hospital, a move that could pre-empt a merger between Fairview and Sanford Health.

University President Eric Kaler outlined the proposal in a letter to Fairview executives that the school released Thursday. Fairview has run the university’s medical center since 1997. Kaler says he’ll meet with Fairview executives next week.

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The disclosure comes ahead of a hearing at the Capitol on Sunday on the potential merger between Minneapolis-based Fairview and Sioux Falls, S.D.-based Sanford Health. Attorney General Lori Swanson says she’s concerned about an out-of-state organization taking over the Twin Cities’ second-largest hospital and clinic chain.

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Fairview and Sanford Health officials have said their talks are only in the early stages.

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