Hearing slated to determine gov’s authority over Blue Cross

Blue_Cross_Blue_Shield_LogoBy Bobby Harrison

Daily Journal Jackson Bureau

JACKSON — A hearing is scheduled for Friday morning in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi on whether Gov. Phi Bryant can issue an executive order forcing Blue Cross & Blue Shield to restore 10 privately owned hospitals across the state to its health insurance network.

Blue Cross is challenging the governor’s authority to force it to put 10 hospitals owned by Florida-based Health Management Associates in its network. Blue Cross dropped the 10 hospitals in September in midst of a dispute over how much the hospitals should be reimbursed by the state’s biggest provider of health insurance.

In the midst of the dispute, Blue Cross already has restored four HMA hospitals to its network, including Gilmore Memorial in Amory.

The hearing is scheduled in Jackson in front of U.S. District Judge Henry T. Wingate.