In 1980, HCA buys the hospital company across the street for $78 million, setting off a wave of acquisition activity that today still marks the Nashville health care industry.

HCA also quickly acquires General Health Services, Hospital Affiliates International and Health Care Corporation. By the end of 1981, the company operates 349 hospitals with more than 49,000 beds and operating revenue of $2.4 billion.

Importantly, this deal creates the opportunity for Joel Gordon and Charlie Martin to continue changing the industry through other organizations.