The St. Luke’s-Saltzer Antitrust Case: Can Antitrust and Health Care Reform Policies Converge?

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Monica Noether, Apr 29, 2014

Earlier this year, a federal judge sided with the Federal Trade Commission and the Idaho Attorney General and enjoined the acquisition of a physician practice that included 16 adult primary care physicians by a hospital that already employed eight adult PCPs. The ruling was based only on the alleged lessening of competition attributable to the horizontal overlap in adult PCP services, despite the transaction’s obvious concomitant vertical implications.

Notwithstanding its small scale, this case has attracted considerable national attention in health care antitrust circles as it raises policy questions that are fundamental to the pressures facing the health care industry in the era of reform.