WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) — The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced May 2 that a federal court has approved the divestiture of Saltzer Medical Group from Idaho-based St. Luke’s Health System. The FTC successfully challenged St. Luke’s acquisition of Saltzer.

In 2015 an order mandated that a divestiture trustee negotiate a divestiture of Saltzer and re-establish Saltzer as an independent provider of adult primary care services in the Nampa, Idaho, area.

According to the FTC, Change Healthcare of Nashville, Tennessee, will manage and operate Saltzer as an independent primary care medical practice. Change Healthcare is a health care management company and subsidiary of McKesson Inc. The FTC said this divestiture will help restore market competition for adult primary care in Nampa.

The FTC first challenged St. Luke’s acquisition of Saltzer in 2013, accompanied by the Idaho Office of the Attorney General. The challenge was based on anti-competitive claims. The U.S. District Court in the District of Idaho held that the acquisition violated Section 7 of the Clayton Act and the Idaho Competition Act because it created a single dominant group of adult primary care physicians. In January 2014, the court ordered St. Luke’s to divest all of Saltzer’s physicians and assets. This ruling was upheld by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in February 2015.

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