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Hospitals suing Blue Cross, allege reduced payments

blue crossACROSS MISSISSIPPI — Ten Mississippi hospitals have filed a lawsuit against Blue Cross Blue Shield of Mississippi alleging the insurer wrongfully reduced inpatient payments it was obligated to make for medical services rendered to patients.

This is according to a news release from Health Management Associates Inc. (HMA).

The lawsuit, which was filed in the Circuit Court of Hinds County, alleges Blue Cross Blue Shield of Mississippi breached its contracts with the hospitals by failing to pay the hospitals in accordance with the terms of those contracts. The hospitals also contend Blue Cross Blue Shield acted in bad faith by slipping payment changes into its Policy Manual instead of attempting to negotiate those payment changes.

The lawsuit seeks to recover more than $13 million in alleged underpayments by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Mississippi plus declaratory relief preventing the insurance company from unilaterally changing the terms of its contracts with hospitals.

The hospitals that filed the suit are Central Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, Biloxi Regional Medical Center in Biloxi, Crossgates River Oaks Hospital in Brandon, Gilmore Regional Medical Center in Amory, Madison River Oaks Medical Center in Canton, Natchez Community Hospital in Natchez, Northwest Mississippi Regional Medical Center in Clarksdale, River Oaks Hospital in Flowood, Tri-Lakes Medical Center in Batesville and Woman’s Hospital in Flowood.

The hospitals are represented by Hooper Lundy & Bookman, P.C. and Copeland, Cook, Taylor & Bush.

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