Market Watch, January 28, 2014

Two of the nation's biggest hospital chains — Community Health Systems Inc. and Health Management Associates Inc. — formalized their merger on Monday, with the newly combined entity now at the top of the health-care heap along with industry leader HCA Holdings Inc. Community acquired Health Management, which formerly traded under the symbol HMA. That now leaves Community and HCA as the nation's two-largest hospital chains. HCA and Community are just miles apart from each other; HCA is based near Vanderbilt University in Nashville, while Community is headquartered in the Nashville suburb of Franklin, 18 miles away. Nashville is a hub of sorts for health-care companies, many of which were spin-offs from venerable HCA or the creation of former officials of the hospital company.

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