9th Circuit denies St. Luke's request for rehearing in antitrust case

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has denied Boise, Idaho-based St. Luke's Health System's request for a rehearing of its antitrust case before a full panel of judges.

St. Luke's 2012 acquisition of Nampa, Idaho-based Saltzer Medical Group was challenged by the Federal Trade Commission, two of St. Luke's competitors — Saint Alphonsus Health System and Treasure Valley Hospital, both in Boise — and the Idaho attorney general.

In January 2014, Chief U.S. Judge B. Lynn Winmill ruled the system's acquisition of Saltzer, one of the largest independent multispecialty groups in Idaho, would cause substantial anticompetitive effects. The judge ordered St. Luke's to divest Saltzer.

In June 2014, St. Luke's appealed the January decision. In February 2015, a three-judge panel from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the federal judge's ruling that St. Luke's acquisition of Saltzer was anti-competitive, and St. Luke's subsequently requested a rehearing of the case by the full panel of judges.

With the 9th Circuit panel of judges voting to deny a rehearing and no member of the full court expressing a desire to vote on a potential rehearing, this could potentially be the end of the road for the case.

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