Blue Cross, hospitals reach agreement

Blue_Cross_Blue_Shield_LogoDaily Journal

JACKSON – Health Management Associates has reached an agreement with Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi, it was announced today.

The agreement means all HMA hospitals, including Amory’s Gilmore Memorial, have been fully reinstated as participating in-network partners, effective Jan. 1, 2014. The HMA hospitals have agreed to permanently drop their lawsuit against Blue Cross, and the latter will not have to pay any money to HMA or its hospitals as a result of the suit’s dismissal.

“I am gratified that the patients and employees who were impacted by this dispute now have peace of mind in knowing that an agreement has been reached,” Gov. Phil Bryant said in a statement. “Earlier this year, I used my executive authority because negotiations had stalled and patient access to care was threatened. I am thankful that both Blue Cross and HMA then returned to the table and worked together to ensure that access to care and patient-doctor relationships are preserved.”

In June the 10 hospitals owned by Florida-based Health Management Associates filed suit in state court, alleging Blue Cross had underpaid them by $18 million. Blue Cross terminated the HMA hospitals from its network effective Sept. 1, saying the hospital system’s charges were out of line.