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HEALTHTRUST, INC. AND HOLY CROSS HEALTH SYSTEM CORPORATION SIGN LETTER OF INTENT

 NASHVILLE, Tenn., and SOUTH BEND, Ind., Oct. 1 /PRNewswire/ -- Healthtrust, Inc. -- The Hospital Company (NYSE: HTI) and Holy Cross Health System Corporation have signed a letter of intent for HealthTrust to purchase Holy Cross Health Services of Utah (HCHSU) by the end of December 1993.
 HCHSU operates three hospitals in Utah and is a subsidiary of Holy Cross Health System Corporation.
 The Utah hospitals include the 200-bed Holy Cross Hospital of Salt Lake City; the 50-bed Holy Cross Hospital-Jordan Valley in West Jordan; and the 204-bed St. Benedict's Hospital in Ogden.
 The terms of the agreement were not disclosed, and the agreement is conditioned upon all necessary approvals and consents.
 According to Sister Patricia Vandenberg, CSC, president and chief executive officer of Holy Cross Health System Corporation, "The decision to negotiate with HealthTrust was made after careful review of the healthcare needs of the community and reflects our sincere desire to ensure that the needs of the community are met.
 "Healthtrust was selected in part because of its facilities along the Wasatch Front and its existing partnerships with us as well as its commitment to compassionate, high quality and cost-effective care."
 The service area of HCHSU is commonly referred to as the Wasatch Front, an urban area encompassing four contiguous counties in northern Utah, bordered by the Wasatch Mountains on the east and the Great Salt Lake on the west. The 1050-square mile area is home to more than 1.2 million people or 82 percent of the state's population.
 "Holy Cross Hospital has served the Wasatch Front community for more than 100 years, and the addition of these excellent hospitals helps fulfill our vision for Utah in three important ways," said R. Clayton McWhorter, chairman and chief executive officer of HealthTrust. "First, this will enable us to offer a more comprehensive healthcare network for the community by adding a facility in Ogden and additional resources in the Salt Lake City community. Second, the addition of the downtown Holy Cross Hospital will give HealthTrust an exceptional tertiary-care facility. And finally, it will better position HealthTrust with managed care plans. The acquisition of these hospitals is completely in line with our strategy to develop fully integrated delivery systems in the communities we serve which will benefit residents with better access and cost-effective services.
 "With the addition of the Holy Cross facilities, our operations become more cost-efficient. We now have the facilities which will give us complete geographic coverage for our managed care contracting and an opportunity to develop additional 'centers of excellence' where we can maintain the highest standards for specific services such as cardiology, orthopedics and women's services. All of these will help to build a healthier community along the Wasatch Front."
 HealthTrust currently has six hospital affiliates in Utah totaling 562 beds. Those are Brigham City Community Hospital in Brigham City; Lakeview Hospital in Bountiful; Pioneer Valley Hospital in West Valley City; Mountain View Hospital in Payson; Castleview Hospital in Price; and Ashley Valley Medical Center in Vernal.
 Sponsored by the Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Cross, Notre Dame, Ind.; HCHSC operates nine major health services corporations in six states from Maryland to California. These subsidiary corporations, in turn, include 12 acute-care hospitals; seven extended- care facilities; three residential centers for the handicapped and elderly; numerous ambulatory care and surgery centers; clinics serving the poor; a college of nursing; and three preferred provider organizations.
 Headquartered in Nashville, HealthTrust, Inc., through its affiliates, is one of the largest providers of health care in the U.S., owning and operating health care facilities and systems in 21 southern and western states.
 -0- 10/1/93
 /CONTACT: Merilyn Herbert of HealthTrust, 615-298-6261 or Paula Lovell of Lovell Communications, 615-297-7766; or Amy Hollis Smessaert of Holy Cross Health System Corp., 219-233-8558, ext. 606, or David L. Jones of Holy Cross Health Services of Utah, 801-328-5500/
 (HTI)


CO: HealthTrust, Inc., The Hospital Company; Holy Cross Health System
 Corporation ST: Tennessee, Indiana IN: HEA SU: TNM


BR-TG -- AT004 -- 7772 10/01/93 11:53 EDT
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Date:Oct 1, 1993
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