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COLUMBIA SAYS FTC PRESS RELEASE IS AN EXPECTED ADMINISTRATIVE PROCESS

 FORT WORTH, Texas, Feb. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Columbia Hospital Corporation (NASDAQ: CHOS) today announced that the press release that appeared over the Reuters wire line at noon today repeating the Federal Trade Commission's challenge to Columbia's acquisition of Medical Center of Punta Gorda was merely part of the administrative process.
 "The administrative trial is not scheduled to be held until March 4, 1993, at which time we will present substantial evidence in support of our case," said Stephen T. Braun, vice president and general counsel of Columbia. "The FTC must re-file for an administrative hearing if the trial could not be set within 20 days of the original court order. There have been no new activities by the FTC, who are just protecting their position by complying with this 20-day timeframe."
 Columbia has previously released, on Jan. 29, 1993, that it plans to challenge the blockage attempt by the FTC. "The FTC concern that the merger will result in higher prices for consumers is inaccurate since over 80 percent of the facility's revenues are from payors that unilaterally established the rate to be paid to the hospital (i.e., Medicare and Medicaid) and the remaining payors are charged rates which have been reviewed and approved by the State of Florida's Health Care Cost Containment Board," said Richard L. Scott, CEO and chairman of Columbia. "We are confident given the facts of this case that we will prevail in court on this issue."
 Columbia operates comprehensive networks aimed at reducing healthcare costs and improving the quality and availability of medical care services in five regions: El Paso, Houston and Corpus Christi, Texas; Miami and Fort Myers, Fla. These networks provide inpatient and outpatient healthcare services through the operation of general acute care and specialty hospitals and a wide array of outpatient facilities.
 -0- 2/19/93
 /CONTACT: Lee A. Wood of Columbia, 817-870-5900; or David Margulies of the Margulies Communications Group, 214-385-8282, for Columbia/
 (CHOS)


CO: Columbia Hospital Corporation ST: Texas, Florida IN: HEA SU:

GK-TS -- NY064 -- 8551 02/19/93 16:58 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Feb 19, 1993
Words:342
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