FTC Successfully Challenges Non-Reportable Acquisition of Physician Group

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On January 24, 2014, the U.S. District Court for Idaho held that St. Luke’s Health System (“St. Luke’s”)’s acquisition of Saltzer Medical Group (“Saltzer”), violated Section 7 of the Clayton Act and ordered St. Luke’s to fully divest itself of Saltzer’s physicians and assets. The court issued a short opinion that mostly announces the outcome. The court will release its full opinion with detailed findings of fact and conclusions of law following its review of any objections by St. Luke’s, Saltzer, and third parties — which must be submitted by January 27, 2014 — regarding the possible release of confidential and business-sensitive information.

St. Luke’s is a not-for-profit health system with headquarters in Boise, Idaho. It owns and operates six hospitals, as well as a number of other facilities and physician clinics. Prior to being acquired by St. Luke’s, Saltzer was a for-profit, physician-owned, multi-specialty group comprised of 44 physician members and located in Nampa, Idaho. Saltzer was also the largest and oldest independent multi-specialty doctors’ group in Idaho.

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