Judge approves sale of Saltzer to a McKesson subsidiary

The Saltzer Medical Group in Nampa.
The Saltzer Medical Group in Nampa.

A federal court has approved the sale of Saltzer Medical Group in Nampa to a subsidiary of global health care giant McKesson Inc.

The approval comes more than three years after U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill ordered St. Luke’s Health System to divest itself of Saltzer.

Winmill had ruled that the 2012 purchase of Saltzer by St. Luke’s violated antitrust laws, giving the health system too much control over the primary care market in Saltzer’s region.

Divesting itself of Saltzer was the only way for St. Luke’s to restore competition, Winmill ruled.

The Federal Trade Commission on Tuesday announced that Nashville-based Change Healthcare, a management company and subsidiary of McKesson, will take over Saltzer and operate it as an independent primary care medical practice.

The Statesman reported last month that Change Healthcare was planning to buy the practice.

Saltzer was Idaho’s largest and oldest multispecialty medical practice before the St. Luke’s deal. It included orthopedic surgeons and other specialists. But some of the practice’s most profitable surgeons left during the deal because they didn’t want to work for St. Luke’s. That cut Saltzer’s $45 million annual revenues in half, according to emails released after the trial.

Audrey Dutton: 208-377-6448, @audreydutton