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St. Luke’s Lawsuit in Hands of Judge Now

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BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A federal judge says a lawsuit between two Idaho hospitals and the Federal Trade Commission comes down to whether St. Luke’s Health System really needs to buy more practices to bring about promised long-term cost savings and improved care, or whether the company has gone too far to curb competition.

The Idaho Statesman reports U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill posed that question to attorneys involved in the case on Thursday, the last day of a monthlong trial. The lawsuit stems from St. Luke’s buyout of Nampa-based Saltzer Medical Group.

The FTC and Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center contend the buyout was an illegal market-grab and gives St. Luke’s an unfair advantage. St. Luke’s contends the acquisition allows it to improve patient care and help low-income patients.

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