Hospitals ask U.S. District Court to delay transaction until antitrust investigations of St. Luke’s business practices are complete
Boise – Saint Alphonsus Medical Center – Nampa, together with Treasure Valley Hospital filed a petition for an injunction today in United States District Court asking the court to delay the acquisition of Nampa’s Saltzer Medical Group by St. Luke’s Health System. The injunction papers allege that the planned acquisition of Saltzer Medical Group by St. Luke’s will create a monopoly of primary care physicians in Nampa who regularly see commercially-insured patients and will have a long term detrimental impact on the Nampa community, its citizens and the hospital that has served the community for more than 100 years.
Both the Federal Trade Commission and the Idaho Attorney General’s Office began an investigation into St. Luke’s actions under federal antitrust laws and Idaho’s Competition Act late last year. The Idaho Attorney General’s Office has asked St. Luke’s to hold off on the sale of Saltzer until their investigation was complete. St Luke’s recently stated its intent to close the deal. This has compelled Saint Alphonsus Health System to act to protect the healthcare needs of patients in the community.
The injunction papers allege the acquisition would seriously harm the two hospitals and health care in the community. Our complaint further states that St. Luke’s has a demonstrated pattern of cutting off referrals to nearby hospitals after it purchases physician groups like Saltzer Medical Group. The injunction papers allege that this action would damage the ability of Saint Alphonsus Medical Center – Nampa to serve its long-held role of “safety net” hospital for the community of Nampa. Saint Alphonsus Medical Center – Nampa provides twice the national average of community care to those unable to pay. Fully 25 percent of patients in the emergency room at Saint Alphonsus Medical Center – Nampa are uninsured. The injunction filings allege that the loss of referrals due to a St. Luke’s acquisition would seriously damage the hospital’s ability to continue to act as a safety net for the community, a role it has played for more than 100 years.
"We did not arrive at this action without a lot of thought and reflection,” said Sally Jeffcoat, president and CEO of Saint Alphonsus Health System. “But because we believe strongly in our Mission and our legacy of healing the body, mind and spirit of our patients, we are compelled to act."
The mission of Saint Alphonsus Health System is to heal the body, mind and spirit of our patients, and to provide health care and healing to those patients close to their homes. The planned acquisition would directly affect the ability of Saint Alphonsus to carry out this mission and is the reason for this action taken today. Saint Alphonsus believes strongly in healthy and fair competition, and believes the Nampa community and Idaho are best served by a strong network of physicians both independent and affiliated.
To view a copy of the petition for injunction, CLICK HERE
About Saint Alphonsus Health System
Saint Alphonsus Health System is a four-hospital, 714-bed regional, faith-based Catholic ministry with over 4,300 Associates and 950 medical staff. Serving the people of southwestern Idaho, eastern Oregon and northern Nevada, Saint Alphonsus Health System is comprised of Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center, Boise, Idaho; Saint Alphonsus Medical Center – Nampa, ID; Saint Alphonsus Medical Center – Ontario, OR; Saint Alphonsus Medical Center – Baker City, OR; Saint Alphonsus Medical Group, with more than 275 primary care and specialty care providers at 35 clinic locations. As a not-for-profit health system, Saint Alphonsus Health System reinvests profits back into the community and works to improve the health and well-being of those we serve by emphasizing care that is patient-centered, innovative and community-based. To find out more go to: www.saintalphonsushealthsystem.org