In what could set the stage for a buyout worth more than $4 billion, hospital operator Community Health Systems (CYH) and other companies have reportedly expressed interest in acquiring Health Management Associates (HMA).

The buyout buzz comes as the U.S. health-care industry and the hospital sector in particular continue to see a flurry of consolidation in the wake of the Obama administration’s health-reform law.

According to Reuters, Community Health is the most likely buyer of Naples, Florida-based Health Management, which reported 2012 revenue of $5.88 billion.

A spokesperson from Health Management declined to comment on the report, citing a “longstanding policy not to comment on rumors or speculation.”

Franklin, Tenn.-based Community Health didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

In addition to Community Health, Health Management has received interest from other companies, including HCA Holdings (HCA) and LifePoint Hospitals (LPNT), Reuters reported.

It’s not clear how much a potential buyout of Health Management would be worth, but the company started the day with a market value of $4.01 billion.

Shares of Health Management spiked 8.27% to $16.75 on Tuesday in the aftermath of the Reuters report, ending at their best level since March 2007.

While speculation about a possible deal swirls, Health Management has also been grappling with a threatened proxy fight with hedge fund Glenview Capital Management. Last month, Health Management revealed hiring Morgan Stanley (MS) to assist in this battle.

Community Health was also bid higher amid the M&A talk, rallying 4.14% on Tuesday to close at $48.00.

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