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Archive for March, 2014

Saltzer, St. Luke’s work to put patient first

Thursday, March 13th, 2014

This ran in the opinion section of the Idaho Press Tribune this week. Thank you Mr. Prange for allowing us to serve you and sharing your view. We love to hear from our patients. Please let us know how you think we are doing and how we can improve in the way we serve you and your family.

Posted: Tuesday, March 11, 2014 12:00 am

As a business owner, I believe in excellence. I also believe in competition. Quality from our competitors makes us better, it has to or our business will fall behind and no longer serve our customers and community like we should.

Because I look to provide quality services to all of my customers, I am always pleased when I find other organizations that have the same vision to provide excellence in all they do.

Saltzer Medical Group and St. Luke’s are organizations that have shown me through many years of medical care they strive to put the patient first in all situations.

As a long-time Saltzer patient, I have received nothing but exceptional care. I would venture to say that there is nowhere in the nation that I could receive better services than I have at Saltzer and St. Luke’s. The partnership with Saltzer and St. Luke’s makes the medical community stronger and even more patient-focused.

I often have ongoing health care concerns, and I appreciate Saltzer’s willingness to accommodate me by providing their services at the hospital that works best for me. Although I appreciate St. Luke’s, it is often more convenient for me to have procedures done at St. Alphonsus in Nampa.

I am thankful that Saltzer physicians work with both hospitals in an effort to best serve the needs of their patients.

In a perfect world, health care would be provided by physicians and hospitals that are more focused on providing the best quality care possible for the patient, regardless of hospital affiliation. However, knowing this world is not perfect, Saltzer and St. Luke’s are as close as I can get.

As I see it, Saltzer and St. Luke’s are the future of health care in this valley. They are setting the standard of excellence and are challenging others to live up to higher expectations.

* George Prange, Nampa

Appealing the Court Decision “…health care must change”

Friday, March 7th, 2014

St. Luke’s and Saltzer Medical Group will file a request for a stay pending appeal of the judge’s order to unwind the existing relationship between the two organizations.

This action, which was endorsed by the community-led board of directors for St. Luke’s Health System and the physician leadership of Saltzer Medical Group, allows the organizations to both pursue an appeal and explore a future relationship that is acceptable to the court.

The request for a stay pending appeal allows Saltzer Medical Group and St. Luke’s time to effectively look for ways to improve healthcare delivery without disrupting the Saltzer clinics and their patients.

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.

Dr. John Kaiser, president of Saltzer Medical Group and a practicing ob/gyn physician, has been an eloquent and passionate voice in support of Saltzer’s patients throughout the process.

During the fall trial, Dr. Kaiser spoke of the value the relationship with St. Luke’s was bringing to the group’s patients, noting such benefits as improved ability to recruit needed clinicians, improved nursing and patient safety protocols, access to data analytics, and a variety of new services for patients. In the near future, it would have included a significantly more robust electronic health records system.

Because of the relationship, Dr. Kaiser said in court, the group was able to take care of patients it could not previously afford to treat.

The Saltzer’s group’s commitment to its patients and the residents of Canyon County is a commitment shared by our St. Luke’s board of community leaders.

“St. Luke’s is the partner we chose and St. Luke’s is still the partner we want to work with,” Dr. Kaiser said. “They have shown through this process that they are committed to the same ideals and values as we are.”

For St. Luke’s, relationships are important; that’s what our history, spanning more than 100 years, 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 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.

Our vision is based on a fundamental belief that health care must change. We remain committed to that vision – health care that ensures better outcomes for patients by rewarding providers for improving health and wellness and not just for treating illness.

We will continue to find constructive ways to inspire those positive changes. We owe it to the people of this region.

David C. Pate, M.D., J.D., is president and CEO of St. Luke’s Health System, based in Boise, Idaho. Dr. Pate joined the System in 2009. He received his medical degree from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston and his law degree from the University of Houston Law Center.

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