FTC Sues St. Luke's Health in Idaho Over Physician Group Acquisition

The Federal Trade Commission and Idaho's attorney general have filed an antitrust complaint against St. Luke's Health System in Boise, Idaho, challenging its acquisition of a large physician group, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

St. Luke's acquisition of Saltzer Medical Group, also in Boise, gives the combined entity nearly 60 percent market share of primary care physicians in Nampa, Idaho, the complaint claims. Nampa is Idaho's second-largest city. The FTC said Saltzer was Idaho's largest independent multi-specialty group.

The FTC and Idaho AG Lawrence Wasden, JD, want to undo the deal, which closed at the end of 2012, according to the report.

The system expressed disappointment with the lawsuit and St. Luke's General Counsel, Christy Neuhoff, JD, said the system has "no intention of using this relationship to increase prices for patients," according to the report.

In November 2012, Saint Alphonsus Health System and Treasure Valley Hospital in Boise sued St. Luke's Health System, claiming the defendant's acquisition of Saltzer would give it control of more than two-thirds of primary care physicians in the area. That lawsuit is separate from the FTC and AG complaint.

More Articles on Hospitals and the FTC:

Judge Lets St. Luke's Proceed With Medical Group Purchase Despite Antitrust Lawsuit
St. Alphonsus in Idaho Files Antitrust Suit Against St. Luke's Over Practice Acquisition
St. Luke's Health in Idaho Responds to Competitors' Antitrust Allegations

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