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BOISE -- St. Luke's Health System filed an appeal Thursday with the 9th U.S. District Court of Appeals asking them to reverse a decision made back in January ordering them to split with Saltzer Medical Group.

The appeal argues St. Luke's acquisition of Saltzer Medical Group would not substantially harm competition in the area.

The hospital says the deal will provide improved access to health care at a lower cost.

St. Luke's Health System President and CEO Dr. David C. Pate says, Appealing the decision is not something we take lightly. We continue to believe the affiliation will provide a better health care delivery model with improved access to care at a lower cost for people in Canyon County and its surrounding areas.

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