BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A federal appeals court says one of Idaho's largest health care providers can continue to operate Nampa-based Saltzer Medical Group while it challenges a prior ruling that it broke antitrust laws in its buyout of Saltzer.

The Idaho Statesman reports that the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals said Friday the appeal is a priority and will schedule the case in January. A federal judge previously ruled that St. Luke's Health System' year-old buyout needed to be undone because it would likely give the hospital dominant control of the market and increase health care costs.

St. Luke's asked to hold the judge's order. The plaintiffs — including Saint Alphonsus Health System and Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden— said the buyout hurt competition in southwest Idaho.