Governor forces Mississippi Blues to reinstate HMA hospitals

After Blue Cross Blue Shield of Mississippi last week offered to reinstate four hospitals owned by Health Management Associates at higher in-network rates, the state's second largest hospital company turned down the proposal.

Officials from the HMA-owned hospitals were "profoundly disappointed" by the Blue Cross offer, which they say include requirements that go beyond their original contract with the state's largest insurer.

"Blue Cross actually sent an entirely new proposal--a proposal with restrictions, conditions and precertification requirements," said Sherry Pitts, CEO of Woman's Hospital, reported the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal.

But on Tuesday, Gov. Phil Bryant stepped in, issuing an executive order requiring Blue Cross to reinstate all 10 HMA-owned hospitals into its network, reported the Clarion Ledger. "

I had hoped the two parties could come to some resolution, but as governor, I cannot sit back and allow Mississippian's access to care to be threatened in violation of state law," Bryant said.

The order is only effective for 60 days, during which time Bryant wants the insurance department to conduct an investigation into whether Blue Cross violated any state laws by excluding HMA's 10 hospitals from its network, WLOX reported.

To learn more:
- see the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal article
- read the Clarion-Ledger article
- check out the WLOX article