Community Health Systems Chief Talks HMA Merger

Margaret Dick Tocknell, August 1, 2013

On an earnings call, the chief executive officer of CHS offers details on the forthcoming merger with Health Management Associates. Described as a "revenue opportunity," the deal will form the largest for-profit hospital system in the U.S.

Wayne T. Smith, the chair, CEO and president of Community Health Systems, told analysts during its second-quarter earnings call Tuesday that the merger with Health Management Associates is a "unique and transformative strategic opportunity" that will position the combined company to take advantage of opportunities presented by healthcare reform.

"Our strategy for healthcare reform has been straightforward: demonstrate quality in our market, enhance productivity and manage resources, deliver infrastructure necessary to implement HI-TECH and [healthcare] reform, and participation in managed care networks. We anticipate about 14 million newly insured patients in 2014, and the combination of CHS and HMA will make us stronger and better prepared for reform."

The merger, which is expected to be completed during the first quarter of 2014, will create a 206-hospital system—the largest for-profit hospital system in the U.S. It will have 31,000 beds and operate 1,000 clinics across 29 states. On a combined basis, 63% of the hospitals are sole providers in their respective markets. The system will have more than $18 billion in annual revenue.

Margaret Dick Tocknell Margaret Dick Tocknell is a reporter/editor with HealthLeaders Media.
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