Jan. 29—A recently completed acquisition was expected to make Community Health Systems Inc. (CHS) the largest for-profit hospital chain in the nation.

On Jan. 27, the Franklin, Tenn., company completed its previously announced acquisition of Florida-based Health Management Associates Inc. The deal increased the number of hospitals that CHS owns, leases, or operates to 206 hospitals in 29 states, which lifted it past the 165-hospital HCA. 

The deal closing followed a Jan. 22 agreement with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which allowed CHS to complete its acquisition of HMA under certain conditions. The terms of the agreement required CHS to divest two acute care facilities and related outpatient businesses owned by its subsidiaries. The facilities slated for divestiture were Riverview Regional Medical Center in Gadsden, Ala., and Carolina Pines Regional Medical Center in Hartsville, S.C.

The divestitures were required to be completed no later than six months after the FTC’s order was issued.

HMA stockholders voted to adopt the previously announced merger agreement on Jan. 8.

The acquisition completion came the same month that the Department of Justice joined eight whistleblower lawsuits against the company, which allege fraud linked to medically unnecessary admissions. 

Publication Date: Wednesday, January 29, 2014