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On February 10, 2015, the Ninth Circuit in Saint Alphonsus Medical Center, et al. v. St. Luke’s Health System, Ltd., et al. affirmed a district court’s holding that the proposed merger between health care providers St. Luke’s Health System and Saltzer Medical Group violated federal antitrust law. Pearson Warshaw, LLP partner Bruce L. Simon represented amicus curiae Catalyst for Payment Reform in the filing of an amicus brief supporting the Federal Trade Commission’s challenge to the merger and affirmance of the district court’s order.

Catalyst for Payment Reform, a non-profit organization working to promote high-value health care in the United States by improving how consumers pay for health care services, argued that consolidation of health care providers leads to higher costs and lower quality in the health care market. The Ninth Circuit sided with plaintiffs and amici curiae making this argument, finding that the district court did not err in holding that defendants failed to demonstrate efficiencies resulting from the merger would have a positive effect on competition.