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Blue Cross Could End Contract with Two Miss. Hospital Systems

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Chip Ward

JACKSON, Miss. — Thousands of insurance policy holders in the state are at risk of paying more. Two of Mississippi’s largest hospital systems may be cutting ties with the state’s largest insurance provider Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Mississippi.

Hospitals owned by Health Management Associates (HMA) have already received termination letters from Blue Cross to end their contract. This came a week after the Naples, Florida based HMA sued the insurance provider June 25 for $13 million in damages, claiming they broke contract terms by underpaying hospitals for a number of procedures.

If this goes though it will effect blue cross policy hold at the ten hospitals across the state owned by HMA: Biloxi Regional Medical center, River Oaks Hospital and Woman’s Hospital in Flowood, and Natchez Community hospital, just to name a few.

Blue Cross has also been discussing payments rates with University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson and there is a chance that insurance company could end their contract at state’s largest hospital as well. The deadline of the contract would have ended this past Wednesday but has been extend till August 28th.

If Blue cross no longer contracts the hospitals would still be reimbursed, just at lower out-of-network rates, which means patients could facing higher costs out of their own pockets. Those changes will not apply to patients with a State or School health insurance even though blue cross administers the plan since the state government is self-insured

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