Saltzer Health Faces Closure Amid Economic Challenges; Negotiations for Sale Underway
Saltzer Health, a physician group that is part of Intermountain Health, is grappling with financial and economic challenges that may lead to its closure or sale by March 29, 2024. The group, which comprises 450 employees across 11 locations, has attributed its financial pressures to rising care costs and challenging market relationships. However, there is a glimmer of hope, with ongoing negotiations with healthcare companies for the purchase of its operations, and the group is optimistic about a successful sale. Saltzer Health is set on ensuring continuity of care for its patients and employment options for its employees during the transition. This development follows the discontinuation of urgent care clinics, ambulance transport services, and a physical therapy program in June 2023 due to low patient usage, affecting around 67 employees.
Financial and Operational Challenges
According to an announcement on their website, Saltzer Health has been facing ongoing financial and economic challenges, leading to potential decisions to sell or cease operations. The rising cost of providing care, primarily driven by inflation since the pandemic, has made the group’s financial situation particularly challenging. Despite these difficulties, Saltzer Health is committed to working closely with caregivers and patients during this transition to ensure continuity of care.
Negotiations for Sale
The medical group is in talks with a national healthcare provider for a potential sale. The increasing complexity of healthcare regulations, coupled with financial challenges, has led to the decision to sell or shut down the group. The potential sale or shutdown has stirred concerns among patients and employees about the continuity of their care and jobs. As a prominent provider in the community for many years with a large patient base, Saltzer Health’s decisions carry significant implications.
Impact on Employees and Patients
The decision to sell or cease operations has come as a shock to the employees and physicians of Saltzer Health, who are still formulating plans for their future. However, the company’s active negotiations for a potential sale offer some respite. If a sale occurs, employees at the acquired locations will have the opportunity to continue with the new company. Saltzer Health providers will contact patients about their options for other healthcare, and the company encourages patients to visit their frequently asked questions page about the change or reach out for more information.
The Role of Intermountain Health
Intermountain Health, which operates Saltzer Health in the Treasure Valley, is also planning to close the medical provider due to the financial difficulties faced. They are actively working to secure a buyer for at least some parts of their operation. Some employees may be retained if a sale is achieved in time. However, the rising cost of providing care, driven by inflation, has played a significant role in the decision to close. Providers have been given 60 days to find new jobs and ensure patients will not be left without care, medications, or necessary treatment. The credentialing process for new jobs can take four months or more to complete, leaving some providers without a paycheck for months after Saltzer closes.