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HMA Shareholders Approve Merger With CHS

Shareholders of Health Management Associates have approved the deal in which Franklin, Tenn.-based Community Health Systems will acquire the Naples, Fla.-based hospital chain.

More than 80 percent of Health Management shareholders voted at today's meeting, and of that total, 98.7 percent voted in favor of the CHS merger. At least 70 percent of Health Management owners had to ratify the merger.

The transaction is expected to close before the end of January, pending other closing conditions and receipt of regulatory approvals.

Although investors have signed off on the deal, many others have vigorously protested it. Registered nurses across the country have protested the merger, citing patient safety concerns and conflicts of interest. National Nurses United, the largest nurses union in the country, said CHS and Health Management hospitals are "already plagued with widespread patient care concerns." The union also said the deal will lead to higher prices, as many CHS and Health Management hospitals are among the most expensive in terms of charge-to-cost ratios.

In December, the American Federation of Teachers, which represents about 2,000 CHS and Health Management employees and has pension funds tied to both companies, wrote a letter saying the deal has "apparent conflicts of interest" and risks associated with Department of Justice investigations at both companies. CHS dismissed the letter, saying the transaction "will serve the best interests of all stakeholders."

CHS agreed to acquire Health Management in July for $3.9 billion in cash and the assumption of $3.7 billion of debt. CHS expects its net revenue this year could top $21 billion following the integration of Health Management.

More Articles on CHS and HMA:
Registered Nurses to Voice Opposition to CHS-HMA Deal
CHS Predicts Large Declines in Profitability, Admissions for FY 2013
The Most Influential Hospital Transactions of 2013

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