Letter: St. Luke’s trial

February 14, 2014 

The Statesman’s Jan. 29 lead story was a shocker! The Statesman documents underhanded ways St. Luke’s was trying to use to become a virtual monopoly for medical care in Boise. A few items (page A10):

First, the trial was closed to the public. Why? St. Luke’s says to protect “trade secrets.” Bah, humbug.

Thanks to the Statesman and Judge B. Lynn Winmill, we know the real reason St. Luke’s wanted privacy ... to become a near monopoly for medical care in Boise and raise prices tremendously.

St. Luke’s could have changed its billing system and gotten an extra $750,000 for lab work and $900,000 for diagnostic imaging ... page A10.

St. Luke’s top hospital (unnamed ) was getting (insurance) reimbursements 21 percent higher than the average Idaho hospital ... page A10.

Item: Judge Winmill said Idaho insurance rates for routine office visits are higher than 95 percent of those paid by other insurance plans nationwide.

“(St. Luke’s) planned to raise prices to give a newly acquired group of doctors a 30 percent raise ....” Page A1.

Anybody really believe St. Luke’s was just trying to hide “trade secrets?”

St. Luke’s has lost community credibility because it forgot the first rule of the medical profession: “do no harm.”

JACK STEVENS, Boise

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