January 12, 2022

Cole is no longer a St. Luke’s “network” supplier

The pathologist and CDH board member has been a vocal critic of COVID-19 vaccines.

BOISE, Idaho – Garden City pathologist Dr. Ryan Cole and his medical laboratory, Cole Diagnostics, will not participate in St. Luke’s Health Partners network after December 22.

A spokesperson for the St. Luke Health System confirmed on Wednesday that the contract between Cole and St. Luke’s Health Partners will remain in effect until that date.

According to St. Luke’s Health Partners website, that means Cole Diagnostics will no longer be networked for nearly 200,000 Idahoans.

The circumstances of Cole’s departure the network thousands of provider groups are not known; St. Luke’s wouldn’t say if he left alone or if the group fired him.

In response to a request for more information, Christine Myron, director of public relations for St. Luke’s, told KTVB’s Morgan Romero that Idaho’s peer review law prohibits St. Luke’s from disclosing additional details, other than the fact that Cole will no longer be part of the network. .

Myron referred to an Idaho law that states that “to encourage research, discipline and medical education by certain health care organizations for the purpose of reducing morbidity and mortality, to enforce and to improve the standards of medical practice in the state of Idaho, certain records of these healthcare organizations should be confidential and privileged, as stipulated in this chapter. “

Cole became a controversial figure during the COVID-19 pandemic for his scathing criticism of COVID-19 vaccines and for touting the use of ivermectin, a pest control drug that the FDA has not approved for the treatment of COVID -19, and is the subject of warnings from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Cole Diagnostics is also performing COVID-19 testing.

Ada County commissioners voted 2-1 in August to nominate Cole to the Central District Health Board after the commission decided, also in a split vote, not to retain Dr Ted Epperly. Commissioners Rod Beck and Ryan Davidson supported Cole’s appointment, while Commissioner Kendra Kenyon was “adamantly opposed”. The appointment was ratified in September.

Numerous medical professionals have complained that Cole is spreading misinformation, and formal complaints have been filed with the Idaho Board of Medicine and the Washington Medical Commission. The Idaho board of directors took no formal action on Tuesday, and Cole’s license to practice as a physician remains in effect until June 30, 2022.

The upcoming split between Cole and St. Luke’s Health Partners won’t be the first time an Idaho healthcare entity has distanced itself from Cole and his lab.

The Department of Veterans Affairs, which oversees the VA Medical Center in Boise, said Cole does not work for or consult with the VA. However, on his website, Cole says he has been a consultant pathologist with the Boise VA since 2003. VA spokesperson Josh Callahan said the Boise VA has stopped working with Dr Cole and Cole Diagnostics in the past. spring 2021.

Crush The Curve, an organization whose goal from the early days of the pandemic was to ensure that as many Idahoans as possible were tested and vaccinated to curb the spread of COVID-19, has stopped using Cole Diagnostics in October 2021.

Crush The Curve has performed approximately 250,000 COVID tests in Idaho since the spring of 2020. A spokesperson for the organization said that when Crush The Curve used Cole Diagnostics, they used the lab for a very small percentage of the tests. tests. The decision to stop using Cole was based on costs, turnaround times, and “that our Crush The Curve mission conflicted with information proactively released to the public by the management of Cole Diagnostics. “all contributed to the decision to” use other labs in our network. “

KTVB repeatedly contacted Dr Cole for comment, but he did not respond.

St. Luke’s Health Partners contracts with healthcare providers and healthcare establishments on behalf of its insurance partners. The network is known as BrightPath in northern and eastern Idaho.

Ivermectin and COVID-19

According to National Institutes of Health (NIH)So far, a different version of ivermectin is approved by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) to treat people with parasitic infections, but is not approved for the treatment of any viral infections, including COVID-19.

The NIH says there is not enough evidence for or against the use of ivermectin for the treatment of COVID. It is under evaluation and leading scientists say more robust, larger-scale clinical trials are needed to provide evidence and advice.

This fall, the FDA released guidelines to discourage the use of ivermectin as a treatment for the disease.

At KTVB, we focus our media coverage on the facts, not the fear around the virus. To see our full coverage, visit our coronavirus section, here: www.ktvb.com/coronavirus.

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