Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corporation has Applied for FTC Approval .

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Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corporation has applied for Federal Trade Commission approval to divest Emergency Medical Service (EMS) of Milton, Florida, to Rural/Metro Corporation. The FTC is seeking public comments on the application for 30 days, until Feb. 1, 1996, before making a decision.

Columbia/HCA, the parent company of Healthtrust, Inc. - The Hospital Company, is based in Nashville, Tennessee. Rural/Metro provides ambulance service to more than 100 communities in 11 states. It is based in Scottsdale, Arizona.

The divestiture is required under a 1995 consent order Columbia/HCA signed to settle FTC charges that its $3 billion merger with Healthtrust would impair hospital competition -- leading to higher prices, reduced services, or both -- in areas of Florida, Louisiana, Texas and Utah. To restore that competition, the consent order requires divestitures of seven hospitals and certain associated assets. To comply with the order, Columbia/HCA applied for approval to divest Santa Rosa Medical Center in Milton, Florida, earlier this year. Divestiture of EMS is required in connection with the divestiture of the Santa Rosa Medical Center.

The application states that Rural/Metro will be a strong, experienced service provider in the Milton market and will accomplish the Commissionþs goals of restoring competition.

Comments on the application should be sent to FTC, Office of the Secretary, 6th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580. Copies of the application and other documents associated with this case are available from the FTCþs Public Reference Branch, Room 130, 6th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580; 202-326-2222; TTY for the hearing impaired 1-866-653-4261. To find out the latest news as it is announced, call the FTC NewsPhone recording at 202-326-2710. FTC news releases and other materials also are available on the Internet at the FTCþs World Wide Web site at:


(FTC Docket No. C-3619)

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