BOISE, Idaho – St. Luke’s Health System filed an appeal today with the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, asking for a reversal of the Jan. 24, decision by U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill ordering St. Luke’s divestiture of Saltzer Medical Group.
In its brief filed with the 9th Circuit Court, St. Luke’s concludes that the District Court erred in its conclusion that St. Luke’s acquisition of Saltzer Medical Group would cause substantial anticompetitive effects, while dismissing the substantial procompetitive benefits the District Court believed would have resulted if the acquisition were to stand.
“Appealing the decision is not something we take lightly,” said St. Luke’s Health System President and CEO Dr. David C. Pate. “We continue to believe the affiliation will provide a better health care delivery model with improved access to care at a lower cost for people in Canyon County and its surrounding areas.”
Pate said that St. Luke’s recognizes the outcome of the appeal could have far reaching impacts.
“The 9th Circuit’s ultimate decision will determine whether antitrust laws can be used to prevent integrated health systems in small and mid-sized markets from tightly affiliating with physician groups in order to improve the quality of health care and move to a value-based system of payment for services that will improve health, allow for new and better models of care, expand access to patients on Medicare and Medicaid, and lower the overall costs of care – a move that is encouraged and promoted by the Affordable Care Act,” Pate said.