BOISE, Idaho (AP) — St. Luke's Health System's request to stay a court ruling that its acquisition of Nampa-based Saltzer Medical Group violated federal antitrust laws has been rejected. U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill in an order filed Thursday told St. Luke's to immediately release Saltzer from its ownership to avoid harming competitors. The Idaho Statesman reports that Winmill in the ruling wrote that a stay would lock in place the anticompetitive bargaining advantage that St. Luke's could continue to use to its advantage.

Winmill in January ruled the year-old buyout needed to be unwound because it's likely the deal would raise health care costs by giving the hospital a dominant market position. St. Luke's in March asked for a stay of the ruling pending an appeal.