LAPORTE, KNOX - Tennessee-based Community Health Systems Inc. (NYSE: CYH) says it has completed a deal to acquire an 80 percent stake in two Indiana hospitals. The company first announced an agreement in December to be majority owner in Indiana University Health La Porte Hospital and IU Health Starke Hospital in Knox. IU Health will maintain 20 percent ownership.

Community Health Systems, which is unrelated to Indianapolis-based Community Health Network, operates a total of 11 Indiana hospitals. The 227-bed facility in La Porte and the 50-bed facility in Knox are located near Porter Health Care system in Valparaiso, which is also a CHS-affiliate.

Chief Executive Officer Wayne Smith says "this affiliation extends our footprint into new markets in Indiana, a state where we already have significant operations. We look forward to working with IU Health and supporting the dedicated physicians and employees who care for the La Porte and Starke communities."

Other hospitals run by CHS in the state are: Dukes Memorial Hospital in Peru, Bluffton Regional Medical Center and Kosciusko Community Hospital in Warsaw, as well as Lutheran Hospital, St. Joseph Hospital, Dupont Hospital, Lutheran Rehabilitation Hospital and the Orthopedic Hospital, all of which are in Fort Wayne.

Within the quarter, the company expects to complete a planned spin-off of a new, publicly-traded company called Quorum Health Corp. It involves more than three dozen hospitals in 16 states, none of which would be in Indiana.