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Following a public comment period, the Federal Trade Commission has approved a final consent order settling charges that Community Health Systems, Inc.’s (CHS) $7.6 billion acquisition of rival health care system Health Management Associates Inc. (HMA) was likely to lessen competition for general acute care inpatient services sold to commercial health plans and provided to commercially insured patients in two local geographic markets.  Absent relief, CHS’s acquisition of HMA would eliminate valuable price and quality competition that has benefitted local patients in Etowah County, including the city of Gadsden, Alabama and Darlington County, South Carolina, according to the FTC’s January 2014 complaint.

Under the final settlement with the FTC CHS will sell the Riverview Regional Medical Center and all of its associated operations and businesses near Gadsden, Alabama, and the Carolina Pines Regional Medical Center and its associated operations and businesses near Hartsville, South Carolina, to Commission-approved buyers within six months.

The Commission vote approving the final order and response to the one public comment received was 4-0. (FTC File No.131-0202; the staff contact is Katherine Ambrogi, Bureau of Competition, 202-326-2205)

The FTC’s Bureau of Competition works with the Bureau of Economics to investigate alleged anticompetitive business practices and, when appropriate, recommends that the Commission take law enforcement action. To inform the Bureau about particular business practices, call 202-326-3300, send an e-mail to antitrust{at}ftc{dot}gov, or write to the Office of Policy and Coordination, Bureau of Competition, Federal Trade Commission, 601 New Jersey Ave., N.W., Room 7117, Washington, DC 20001. To learn more about the Bureau of Competition, read Competition Counts. Like the FTC on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and subscribe to press releases for the latest FTC news and resources.

Contact Information

Mitchell J. Katz
Office of Public Affairs