A PYMNTS Company

US: Final chapter of St. Lukes lost case

 |  April 16, 2017

The final act in the antitrust case that St. Luke’s Health System lost appears to be playing out at last, with the sale of a Nampa, Idaho, primary-care medical practice whose acquisition by St. Luke’s started it all. It all started when St. Luke’s bought Saltzer Medical Group in 2012 even though the Idaho Attorney General’s Office warned it not to.

The Federal Trade Commission, Attorney General Lawrence Wasden and two St. Luke’s competitors in the Treasure Valley — Saint Alphonsus Health System and Treasure Valley Hospital — sued St. Luke’s and Saltzer, saying the 2012 acquisition broke federal antitrust laws.

After weeks of testimony, U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill of Boise sided with the plaintiffs, and said the purchase gave the hospital system too much control over the primary-care market in the Nampa area. Winmill ordered Saltzer and St. Luke’s to reverse their deal. A trustee was put in charge of finding a buyer.

And the current buyer is a surprise: a company created by McKesson, a $200 billion-a-year global corporation known for its pharmaceuticals and medical technology.

Documents obtained by the Idaho Statesman show that the company, Change Healthcare Management, plans to acquire Saltzer Medical Group effective May 1.

“To be clear, this offer is subject to the successful closing of the transaction as defined in that certain master transaction agreement dated as of March 31, 2017, by and among St. Luke’s Health System, St. Luke’s Regional Medical Center, Saltzer Medical Group, Change Healthcare Management Company and Southern Idaho Health Partners,” the letter says.

Full Content: Idaho Statesman

Want more news? Subscribe to CPI’s free daily newsletter for more headlines and updates on antitrust developments around the world.