Gilmore still back in BlueCross network

Blue_Cross_Blue_Shield_LogoBy Michaela Gibson Morris

Daily Journal

Amory’s Gilmore Memorial and three other affiliated hospitals have been restored to the BlueCross network of providers even as legal proceedings continue.

“While this is good news for the Blue Cross members who access our hospital, it still falls short of restoring full access to care for all Blue Cross members across the state,” said J. Allen Tyra, chief executive of Gilmore Memorial Regional Medical Center.

U.S. District Judge Henry Wingate issued a temporary restraining order Monday against Gov. Phil Bryant’s executive action to put all 10 HMA hospitals back into the BlueCross network.

“The governor’s executive order threatens the fundamental, constitutional rights of private businesses by forcing them to enter into a contract with another private business,” said Meredith Virden, BlueCross & BlueShield of Mississippi corporate communications manager. “We will continue to proceed in the federal court system to protect the rights of our company and our members.”

A full hearing is set for Nov. 5 .

“We agree with the Governor and Attorney General that patient access to health care is being harmed and remain committed to getting all 10 hospitals back in-network,” Tyra said.

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

Earlier this month, BlueCross offered to reinstate the Amory hospital, along with HMA hospitals in Batesville, Clarksdale and Flowood, citing their unique roles in their communities.

michaela.morris@journalinc.com