Case Details

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Year Resolved


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U.S. District Court for the District of Idaho

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St. Luke’s Health System; Saltzer Medical Group

Case Description

The FTC and the Attorney General of Idaho filed suit to prevent the acquisition by St. Luke’s Health System of Idaho’s largest independent, multi-specialty physician practice group, Saltzer Medical Group. According to the joint complaint , the combination of St. Luke’s and Saltzer would give it the market power to demand higher rates for health care services provided by primary care physicians (PCPs) in Nampa, Idaho and surrounding areas, ultimately leading to higher costs for health care consumers. According to the joint complaint, St. Luke’s acquisition of Saltzer was anticompetitive and violated Section 7 of the Clayton Act and Section 48-106 of the Idaho Competition Act. It created a single dominant provider of adult primary care physician (adult PCP) services in Nampa, with the combined entity commanding nearly a 60 percent share of that market. In addition, an alternative network of health care providers that does not include St. Luke’s/Saltzer’s primary care physicians becomes far less attractive for employers with employees living in Nampa. The FTC and Idaho Attorney General allege that the newly combined primary care practices will give St. Luke’s greater bargaining leverage with health care plans, with higher prices for services eventually passed on to local employers and their employees. The parties consummated their transaction several months earlier, and a private antitrust complaint was filed by several competitors. Idaho and the FTC consolidated their suits for trial. The court held that the transaction was anticompetitive and that the acquisition should be unwound. The decision was affirmed by the Ninth Circuit.