St. Luke’s Health System and Nampa’s Saltzer Medical Group have until May 1 to split up under a new order from a federal judge who last year had set a deadline of Dec. 10.
The Federal Trade Commission and Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden’s office asked for the extension in November, saying the divestiture process was taking time but was on track.
The sale resulted from a 2013 antitrust case before U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill. Two St. Luke’s competitors in the Treasure Valley, the Saint Alphonsus Health System and Treasure Valley Hospital, joined the FTC and Wasden in suing St. Luke’s and Saltzer, saying they broke federal law when St. Luke’s bought Saltzer.
The multimillion-dollar purchase of Saltzer gave the hospital system too much control over the primary-care market in the Nampa area, Winmill decided after weeks of testimony. The only way to undo the damage was for Saltzer to be made independent again, he ruled.
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A trustee has since found a buyer for Saltzer, culled from a list of 70 potential bidders. Saltzer management gave presentations to five organizations over the summer, and those organizations’ representatives visited Saltzer clinics and offices.
By October, the trustee had narrowed the list to three. Saltzer doctors met with them and visited their clinics, then reported their choice to the trustee in early November, court documents said. That sale is expected to close by March, with the divestiture being complete by May.
The court documents did not identify any potential buyers or the organization Saltzer chose.