St. Luke's, Saltzer Medical Group Want to Maintain Ties During Appeal Process

Boise, Idaho-based St. Luke's Health System and Saltzer Medical Group in Nampa, Idaho, have filed a motion to maintain their relationship while they pursue an appeal of a January decision that found their relationship violated antitrust laws, according to an Idaho Press-Tribune report.

In January, Chief U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill ruled that St. Luke's must unwind its 2012 acquisition of the 40-physician Saltzer, one of the largest multispecialty groups in the state. The Federal Trade Commission, Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden and two of St. Luke's competitors — Saint Alphonsus Health System and Treasure Valley Hospital, both in Boise — challenged the hospital-physician transaction with an antitrust complaint.

In court documents filed Tuesday, attorneys for St. Luke's and Saltzer said there is no evidence that the current relationship between the organizations would harm competition throughout the appeal process. On the other hand, they said there is substantial evidence that their patients and employees would be harmed if the two separated. More specifically, a divestiture would result in Saltzer losing physicians and not being able to effectively compete, according to the report.

David Pate, MD, JD, president and CEO of St. Luke's, said the system will stand by its commitment to Saltzer and local residents "until we are able to have a positive resolution to this matter — either by prevailing on appeal or identifying an alternative that allows Saltzer to remain healthy and continue to serve patients and the community in a positive way," according to the report.

More Articles on St. Luke's Antitrust Case:
The St. Luke's Antitrust Case: 10 Things to Know
Judge Sides With FTC, Ruling St. Luke's Violated Antitrust Law
Judge: St. Luke's Antitrust Case "One of the Most Difficult" He's Heard


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