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St. Luke's Health System Being Sued Over Acquistion
Twin Falls, Idaho (KMVT-TV) St. Luke’s Health System has an antitrust lawsuit filed against it by two Boise-area hospitals.
Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center and Treasure Valley Hospital Limited Partnership are joint-plaintiffs on the suit.
Saint Luke's is looking to partner with Saltzer Medical Group to expand its presence of primary care physicians.
The plaintiffs believe the merger could cause a monopoly and force a loss of jobs in the areas.
Officials from Saint Luke's think otherwise.
“We obviously believe what we're doing with Saltzer is going to benefit the community and lower costs and improve health care - which is the opposite of what Saint Al's is alleging at this point,” says Ken Dey, Media Manager for St. Luke’s Health System.
The plaintiffs contend the acquisition will encourage doctors at Saltzer to refer patients only to St. Luke's for further treatment.
Dey says, “We have a policy where we leave it up to the physician to make that determination and that’s based on where the physician thinks their patient will get the best care. And they’re free to refer to any organization that will provide that care.On that same token, patients are free to have the choice in where they want to be seen.”