Tenn. Blues fights $44K out-of-network hospital bill

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee has filed a lawsuit on behalf of a member against a subsidiary hospital of for-profit  chain HCA Holdings Inc., reported The Tennessean. The insurer claims TriStar Southern Hills Medical Center,  an out-of-network provider, billed for more than $44,000 to treat one patient for after he was brought to the hospital in an emergency situation and diagnosed with a stroke. Blue Cross maintained that amount was unreasonable and wrongful because it's more than 900 percent of what Medicare would reimburse. "The issue of seeking billed charges for out-of-network emergency services is not unique to HCA or Southern Hills. It is a long-held industry business practice that we believe should change to protect all consumers," Tony Hullender, senior vice president and general counsel at Blue Cross, told the newspaper.  TriStar, however, said the bill was high because of a policy change Blue Cross implemented last year to make its members pay more costs. Article