As the healthcare landscape continues to shift nationwide, Idaho’s Saltzer Health, which was recently acquired by Salt Lake City-based Intermountain Healthcare, is set to shutter by the end of March if its operations cannot be sold.
Saltzer Health has more than 450 providers serving the Treasure Valley region of Idaho, including Boise, Meridian, and Nampa. The multi-specialty group encompasses services that range from family medicine, pediatrics, and ob/gyn, to orthopedics, general surgery, and urgent care.
However, the “difficult decision” to sell or cease operations by March 29 is “due to ongoing financial and economic challenges facing Saltzer and other health institutions nationwide,” according to an announcement posted on Saltzer Health’s website.
“Saltzer is in active negotiations with other healthcare companies that may be interested in purchasing some operations to preserve access to high-quality care for patients in the Treasure Valley and is optimistic that a sale can be achieved,” the announcement stated. “If those discussions are successful, employees at medical operations included in any sale may have the opportunity to continue their employment with the new organization.”
“Like many health systems across the country, Saltzer has faced significant financial pressures as the rising cost of providing care, driven by inflation, has increased since the pandemic,” it further stated. “Saltzer leaders say vital contracts and other market relationships did not progress as had been hoped for, making it financially challenging.”
Providers employed by Saltzer Health and the patients they serve face uncertainty.
Erik Richardson, DO, a family medicine physician at Saltzer Health, told Becker’s Hospital Review that he and other local leaders were not given the opportunity to discuss the news of a sale or closure or offer input on the decision.
“With them doing this and planning on shutting doors March 29, it leaves, obviously, us out of employment, but more importantly for our community it leaves our patients without care because there’s no follow-up plan,” Richardson told the outlet. “They’re absolutely, completely abandoning our patients.”
Richardson could not be reached by MedPage Today for further comment.
Saltzer Health was founded by physician Joseph Saltzer, MD, in 1961 and stayed independent until 2012, BoiseDev reported. However, in the years that followed, a merger with St. Luke’s Health System fell apart as the result of a federal antitrust lawsuit.
In 2017, Saltzer Health entered into a long-term managed services agreement with Change Healthcare. Then in early 2019, Saltzer Health was acquired by Ball Ventures Ahlquist (BVA), a commercial development and strategic capital investment joint venture. Intermountain Healthcare scooped up Saltzer Health from BVA shortly thereafter in October 2020.
As for the current intention to sell operations or close, just how many providers and patients could potentially be affected, and alleged failure to include physicians in discussions before the decision, a spokesperson for Saltzer Health deferred to its previously posted statement when contacted by MedPage Today for further comment.
Saltzer Health noted in the statement that it plans to work closely with providers and their patients during the transition to “help with continuity of care.” Patients will be contacted regarding their options and can also access information online or by emailing Saltzer Health.
Source link : https://www.medpagetoday.com/special-reports/features/108427
Publish date : 2024-01-25 17:14:16
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