Saturday, February 28, 2015

St. Luke's Hospital's Faulty February

Posted By on Sat, Feb 28, 2015 at 10:12 AM

click to enlarge St. Luke's McCall Medical Center
  • St. Luke's McCall Medical Center
February may be the shortest month, but it brought a long list of headaches for St. Luke's Health System. 

On Feb. 9, the City of Boise Planning and Zoning Commission stunned more than a few observers when it nixed St. Luke's 300-plus-page master plan outlining massive growth for the downtown Boise medical center, which included a controversial proposal to permanently close a portion of Jefferson Street.

On Feb. 10, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a landmark antitrust ruling against St. Luke's, reaffirming a 2014 order for the hospital to dissolve its ownership of the Saltzer Medical Group.

Now, citizens in Valley County have some serious concerns about what will happen next to the St. Luke's McCall Medical Center. A draft complaint from the Idaho Attorney General's Offices alleges the 2010 St. Luke's deal, which led to its takeover of the then-McCall Memorial Hospital, violated state constitution.

This week's McCall Star-News reports that the complaint was triggered by the pending takeover of Weiser Memorial Hospital by St. Luke's in a similar deal. The drafted lawsuit alleges that the St. Luke's agreements "violate sections of the Idaho Constitution, including a section that forbids long-term debt without voter approval," according to the Star-News. The draft complaint reportedly asks for the takeover agreement to be voided, for St. Luke's to relinquish its ownership of the McCall hospital and for St. Luke's to pay back any taxes from property owners to support the hospital, a total of $5.5 million since the agreement was inked.

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