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Saltzer Health Shuts Down After Failed Buyer Search

Written by : Aishwarya Sarthe

April 2, 2024

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With 450 employees and clinicians spread across 11 locations, Saltzer Health has been operating for 63 years in southwest Idaho.

US-based Intermountain Healthcare, a prominent healthcare system, has closed Saltzer Health, a multispecialty group acquired nearly four years ago, following unsuccessful attempts to find a buyer for the provider.

Saltzer Health, located in southwest Idaho, had been operating for 63 years and was one of the state's oldest and largest primary care groups, with 450 employees and clinicians spread across 11 locations.

It announced its closure back in January after failing to secure a buyer by March end.

The medical group cited "ongoing financial and economic pressures and challenges" as the primary reason for its closure, echoing the nationwide struggles faced by healthcare institutions due to rising costs exacerbated by the pandemic.

"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," the company statement noted.

The group also cited the failure of vital contracts and market relationships to progress as expected, resulting in substantial monthly losses that made continued operations unsustainable.

Dealings & Negotiations

Despite the closure, efforts have been made to ensure continuity of care for the community.

Reportedly, Saltzer Health negotiated agreements to sell key services to Saint Alphonsus Health System and Intermountain Medical Imaging of Idaho.

These agreements include selling an ambulatory surgery center, two urgent care centers in Meridian to Saint Alphonsus Health System, and an imaging center in Meridian to Intermountain Medical Imaging.

Sharing insights, Jana Huffman, assistant vice president, Intermountain Medical Group, said, "Our goal during this challenging process was to ensure that as many medical services as possible continue to operate and serve the healthcare needs of the community."

Employees Left in the Lurch?

The closure of Saltzer Health posed potential challenges for the Treasure Valley region, including the risk of limiting urgent care availability and pregnancy care options and leaving approximately 100,000 annual patients in need of new providers.

However, according to the company, efforts are being made to mitigate these difficulties. Moreover, Saint Alphonsus Health System is expected to reopen the urgent care clinics in May after completing necessary installations and updates.

Furthermore, Intermountain Medical Imaging vowed to offer positions to several current Saltzer Health imaging center employees, ensuring continuity of care and support within the community.

Additionally, Saltzer Health announced that multiple clinic locations will remain open under new management, with former physicians continuing to serve patients.

In the same vein, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina closed a deal to scoop up 55 FastMed urgent care clinics operating in the Tarheel State.

Reportedly, the insurer said that a dearth of providers in rural areas spurred it to acquire clinics in that state, which are located in 34 counties. FastMed offers preventive care, telehealth, primary care, and occupational care.

Blue Cross NC previously unveiled plans to buy the clinics in October.


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