Jointly issued by BlueCross and HCA


Mary Thompson: BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee (423) 535-7694

Cheryl Chubbs: HCA MidAmerica Division (615) 886-4902

BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee and HCAs TriStar Health System announced today they have reached a contract agreement that ensures BlueCross enrollees access to care at 13 TriStar hospitals in Middle Tennessee and the Chattanooga area for the next 30 months. Terms of the agreement, which runs April 1, 2004, through September 30, 2006, were not disclosed.

We have reached a solution that works for both parties, said Paul Rutledge, President of TriStar Health System. This agreement is good news, particularly for the many BlueCross enrollees across the state who use the TriStar Family of Hospitals and our affiliated physicians.

Were pleased to have TriStar back in our network, said Vicky Gregg, President and CEO of BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee. With this contract, HCAs TriStar hospitals return to our network of hospitals, providing health care services to BlueCross 1.8 million commercial members. This contract also provides better accessibility for our members who live in the areas in which a TriStar hospital operates.

The new contract encompasses BlueCross Blue Networks P and C throughout the entire state, plus Blue Network S in Chattanooga and Jasper.

The following TriStar hospitals in Tennessee are included:

Centennial Medical Center Nashville

Centennial Medical Center at Ashland City* Ashland City

Grandview Medical Center Jasper

Hendersonville Medical Center Hendersonville

Horizon Medical Center Dickson

Parkridge Medical Center Chattanooga

Parkridge East Hospital** Chattanooga

River Park Hospital McMinnville

Skyline Medical Center Nashville

Southern Hills Medical Center Nashville

StoneCrest Medical Center Smyrna

Summit Medical Center Hermitage

Womens Hospital at Centennial * Nashville

*A facility of Centennial Medical Center

**A facility of Parkridge Medical Center