The hospital industry is participating in a massive flea market, with large chains buying and selling hospitals like Pokémon cards or Monopoly properties. Buyers want to bulk up their market power, while sellers want to reduce huge loads of debt or focus their attention elsewhere.
What's happening: The main action this week is coming from three large for-profit companies: HCA, Tenet Healthcare and Community Health Systems. There also have been a bevy of deals among not-for-profit health systems. These transactions can be easily overlooked, but they are important because they alter the pricing power in local markets.