A controversial pathologist from Idaho who has been criticized for spreading false information about COVID-19 is leaving a health network that provides care to more than 160,000 people in the state, according to a report by the Idaho Capital Sun.
Ryan Cole, MD, who has previously come under fire for prescribing ivermectin to COVID patients and spreading falsities about COVID vaccines, will no longer be a part of St. Luke’s Health Partners, an integrated health network that includes around 2,800 providers in Idaho. Both Cole and his laboratory, Cole Diagnostics, which provides COVID testing, are leaving the network this month — meaning, his lab will no longer be able to provide “in-network” diagnostic testing to hundreds of thousands of Idahoans.
It is unclear whether the health system removed Cole, or if he decided to leave on his own. The pathologist’s employment contract with St. Luke’s, which is known as BrightPath in some regions of the state, will remain in effect until December 22.
“St. Luke’s can confirm that Cole Diagnostics (and its sole provider, Dr. Cole) is no longer participating in the St. Luke’s Health Partners or BrightPath networks,” said Christine Myron, St. Luke’s public relations manager for the Treasure Valley, in a statement to MedPage Today. She noted that Idaho’s peer review statute prevents the health network from disclosing further details about this decision.