CHS ordered to divest two southern hospitals

The Federal Trade Commission will require one of the nation’s largest hospital operators, Community Health Systems Inc., or CHS, to divest two southern hospitals in order to acquire a rival health system.

CHS is proposing a $7.6 billion acquisition of Health Management Associates Inc. Under a proposed trade commission settlement, CHS would sell hospital operations near Gadsden, Ala., and near Hartsville, S.C.

Headquartered in Franklin, Tenn., CHS is a for-profit health system that owns 135 hospitals in 29 states, including ValleyCare Health System of Ohio that includes Trumbull Memorial Hospital, Northside Medical Center and several other area facilities. It is the second-largest hospital chain in the United States, and generated about $13 billion in revenue in 2012, according to the Federal Trade Commission.