St. Luke's Health System Could Get Even Bigger With Another Acquisition

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The St. Luke's Health Care System, which already includes facilities in Boise, Eagle, Jerome, McCall, Meridian, Mountain Home, Nampa, Twin Falls and the Wood River Valley, may soon become larger still. The Argus Observer reports that Weiser Memorial Hospital released a statement earlier this week that it has signed a letter of intent "to explore integration." The agreement is nonbinding, but Weiser hospital officials said they were poised to hold a series of informational meetings with its employees and community members on the possibility of joining St. Luke's.

It turns out that Weiser Memorial approached St. Luke's about possibly joining the conglomerate, triggering a series of private meetings involving leaders of both organizations.

"At the pace medical equipment is being upgraded and the cost to upgrade, it's a challenge for smaller hospitals to keep up," Weiser spokeswoman Layna Hafer told the Observer. "With Medicare and Medicaid, when the federal government starts to take away the percentage of reimbursement, it affects the bottom line of how we care for the patient."

And if "all goes according to plan," Weiser would join the St. Luke's network in April 2015.