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BOISE -- St. Luke's filed a notice of appeal with the federal courts on Tuesday evening, and the health system also asked a judge to allow its deal with Saltzer Medical to stand while the appeal is heard.

In January, Judge Lynn B. Winmill ruled the deal was in violation of antitrust laws and said the deal must be unwound.

Saint Alphonsus, the Idaho Attorney General, and the Federal Trade Commission sued St. Luke's saying the Saltzer deal created unfair competition. With the acquisition, the calculation was St. Luke's effectively had 80 percent of the primary care providers in Nampa under its umbrella.

St. Luke's told KTVB when the decision came down that the plan was to appeal and ask to stay with Saltzer until the appeal is heard. In a statement, President and CEO of St. Luke's, Dr. David Pate, said the health system wants to make sure Saltzer patients and clinics aren't discrupted.

Relationships are important to St. Luke's; that's what our 100-plus-year history is based on. We will stand by our commitment to Saltzer Medical Group and the residents of Canyon County until we are able to have a positive resolution to this matter - either by prevailing on appeal or identifying an alternative that allows Saltzer to remain healthy and continue to serve patients and the community in a positive way, Pate said in a statement released by St. Luke's.

Saltzer had a similar take, hoping the judge will allow the deal to stand as the appeals go forward.

Our request for a stay pending appeal recognizes, as the court has, that this case presents issues of both exceptional importance and substantial difficulty. All of us involved in this matter have appreciated the candid input and sage counsel we have received and we're confident this is the right path forward for us and for the patients we serve, said Dr. John Kaiser, president of Saltzer Medical Group. St. Luke's is the partner we chose and St. Luke's is still the partner we want to work with. They have shown through this process that they are committed to the same ideals and values as we are.

Saint Alphonsus Health System CEO Sally Jeffcoat issued the following statement on Tuesday evening: Saint Alphonsus continues to believe that Judge Winmill's decision was correct on the law and provides the best solution for health care in the Treasure Valley. Therefore, Saint Alphonsus intends to vigorously defend any appeal by St. Luke's.

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