Community Health gets US approval to buy rival hospital operator

WASHINGTON Wed Jan 22, 2014 5:20pm EST

WASHINGTON Jan 22 (Reuters) - Hospital operator Community Health Systems Inc has won approval to buy Health Management Associates Inc on the condition that it sell hospitals in Alabama and South Carolina, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission said on Wednesday.

Community Health Systems, the second-largest for-profit hospital operator in the United States, said in July that it would buy Health Management, a smaller rival, to strengthen its base of operations.

Both chains operate hospitals primarily in smaller cities and rural areas. Health Management has a strong focus in the U.S. Southeast, including Florida.

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