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Physicians opening independent practices following Intermountain Health's closure of Saltzer locations

Posted at 4:12 PM, Apr 15, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-15 18:12:38-04

MERIDIAN, Idaho — Following Saltzer Health's closure, many doctors have joined other local health organizations and some have set out or teamed up on their own independent practices.

  • Ridgeview Family Health, operated by two former Saltzer physicians, opened its doors to patients for the first time Monday morning.
  • Six months are typically needed to begin a new practice, Intermountain Health's choice left just about 90 days.
  • Employees at Ridgeview Family Health are looking forward to a more intimate feel with patients in a private practice.
  • Resources to find where your primary care physician went after Saltzer can be found here.

(The following is a transcription of the full broadcast story.)

"Ooh, it's been a whirlwind, right?"

"It has been," recalled Dr. Erik Richardson and Dr. Elaine Davidson at their new practice in Meridian.

Ridgeview Family Health opened its doors to patients for the first time Monday morning. The two doctors behind the practice were displaced following Intermountain Health's decision to close Saltzer locations in the Treasure Valley. The decision to start an independent practice was not an easy one.

RELATED | Physicians voice frustrations over Intermountain Health's 'sell or close' decision on Saltzer Health

"I think the biggest thing initially was the sticker shock," Dr. Davidson laughed.

"To go, within two months, to just us to now having 18 employees under our roof was a scary prospect but we're excited for the opportunity," added Dr. Richardson.

Primary Health announced Monday four providers would be joining from Saltzer Health plus the acquisition of an Ear, Nose, and Throat practice that will continue to serve patients at the Ten Mile location of the former Saltzer Health.

RELATED | Saint Alphonsus and Saltzer Health announce they will keep three locations open

Many of their new employees came from Saltzer as well. The health system employed more than 400 physicians and nurses in the Treasure Valley with many still sorting out their next steps.

Ridgeview Family Health's office manager is looking forward to the benefits of working in an independent practice.

"The autonomy that we have to really help patients, that personalized touch. A patient's going to know their team and provider. They're going to walk in the door and know their front office staff," said office manager Jennifer Larson.

Doctors tell me that beginning a private health practice in Idaho typically takes around 6 months. With Intermountain Health giving just about 90 days notice to a potential closure, physicians and the health community were left with tight deadlines.

RELATED | Saltzer Health closing for the last time following Intermountain Health decision

"It's been quite the experience, many decisions you do one-by-one and they build upon themselves we've had to do them all at the same time," said Dr. Richardson.

From funding to malpractice insurance, liability insurance to CPAs, many pieces had to come together in a short amount of time.

"Given the situation with Saltzer, the local community has really stepped up because the community wants the patients taken care of. All of our local insurance payers, they said all Saltzer providers would be expedited," added Dr. Davidson.