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Texas regulators approve sale of 2 CHS hospitals under COPA law

Texas regulators have approved Franklin, Tenn.-based Community Health Systems' planned divestiture of two hospitals in the state, despite objection from the Federal Trade Commission.

In April, CHS announced its intent to sell the 231-bed Abilene (Texas) Regional Medical Center to Abilene-based Hendrick Health System and its 171-bed San Angelo (Texas) Community Medical Center to Shannon Health System in San Angelo. 

The Texas Health and Human Services Commission had the final say on the proposed transactions because Texas implemented the Certificate of Public Advantage law that shields the deals from federal oversight in exchange for state oversight.

In a September letter to the Texas commission, the FTC argued that if the deals moved forward, the combinations would remove competition in the markets, resulting in higher prices and harming consumers.

However, despite the FTC's objections, the Texas commission approved the deals Oct. 2.

"We are excited to receive final regulatory approval from the Texas Health and Human Services Commission," Shane Plymell, Shannon Health System president and CEO, told the San Angelo Standard-Times. "We are grateful for the work and support of our state leaders, our boards, associates and providers, and our community leaders throughout this process. Shannon looks forward to completing the acquisition process with Community in the coming weeks and working together to enhance care for the 300,000 people in our region."

Read more about the FTC's letter here. 

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