Written by: Sam R. Hall
Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi isn’t endearing itself to many folks – especially not Gov. Phil Bryant and Attorney General Jim Hood.
That BCBS has Bryant and Hood working together should tell you exactly what kind of public and governmental relations nightmare the insurance giant has cooked up for itself. Bryant and Hood both feel snubbed and professionally insulted by BCBS, particularly CEO Carol Pigott. Word from persons close to Bryant and to Hood tell similar stories:
By Bobby Harrison
JACKSON – As attorney general, Jim Hood has displayed a willingness to take on big business, whether Google, BP, major drug companies or Entergy, if he felt wrongdoing was occurring.
Hood, a Democrat, sent word recently he is eying health insurance giant Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi.
“I have been reviewing intra-state antitrust allegations against Blue Cross for several years,” Hood said in a recent statement. “The immature court filings and refusal to even meet are indicative of a corporation that has achieved monopoly status and thinks it is above the law. We shall see.”
By Bobby Harrison
Daily Journal Jackson Bureau
JACKSON – Gov. Phil Bryant may not be ending his battle with BlueCross & BlueShield, but instead may be moving the contest to a different venue – a political venue where he has more expertise – the Mississippi Legislature.
By Star-Advertiser staff
The Hawaii Supreme Court has ruled that a Maui teacher has the right to sue Kaiser Foundation Health Plan Inc. in court for reimbursement of $250,000 in medical bills, even though the state health trust fund agreed to an arbitration process to settle disagreements.
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -
The insurance network battle is still brewing between Health Management Associates and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Mississippi. Monday they took the fight to the State Capitol.
HMA sued Blue Cross in June, claiming they weren’t getting the money they were promised in their contract. A week later they were dropped from the Blue Cross network list.
The concerns from hospitals and doctors have only grown since then. They’re worried they won’t be around to give care if something doesn’t change.
“The ultimate result is going to be that those hospitals close. It’s not a threat. It’s just a reality,” said Paul Hurst, of Health Management Associates.
HMA hospitals are absorbing any out-of-network costs for Blue Cross patients but say those people are getting conflicting messages.
“They’re telling patients that you can’t go to these hospitals because we aren’t going to pay for it. So they’ve created a lot of confusion, a lot of fear,” said Hurst
The Mississippi legislature could step in to attempt to resolve an impasse between the state’s largest insurance company and a group of ten Mississippi hospitals. A joint legislative hearing about the dispute was sometimes heated and emotional.
A standing room only crowd of mostly doctors, lobbyist, and legislators packed the committee room yesterday for a hearing about the on-going contract dispute between Blue Cross Blue Shield and Hospital Management Associates which runs 10 hospitals in Mississippi.
The two companies are feuding over how much the insurance company should pay for procedures.
Paul Hurst with HMA claims Blue Cross is using its dominate market position to strong arm the hospitals into lower payments.
JEFF AMY, Associated Press
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi has told the state’s second-largest hospital owner that it will end its contract with the company’s 10 Mississippi hospitals at the end of August.
The insurer sent the termination notice to Health Management Associates hospitals statewide on June 25. Naples, Fla.-based HMA had sued Blue Cross for $13 million a week earlier, claiming the Flowood, Miss., insurer is breaking contract terms by underpaying for a number of procedures.