Biloxi Regional: Care to continue for BCBS patients, despite termination

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Biloxi Regional Medical Center is promising Blue Cross Blue Shield of Mississippi policy holders that they will still be able to receive care at the facility, despite an on going dispute between the two entities.

Biloxi Regional and nine other hospitals are suing Blue Cross Blue Shield alleging the insurer breached its contracts by not paying the facilities according to the terms of those contracts. The lawsuit seeks to recover more than $13 million in alleged underpayments.

Ten days after that lawsuit was filed, Blue Cross Blue Shield sent termination letters, which according to Biloxi Regional, did not include any cause or explanation for the action.

Hospital officials call the move retaliatory, and accuse the insurer of placing "policy holders and our patients in the middle of this situation." They said they want Blue Cross Blue Shield patients to know they will still be able to receive treatment at the facility while this dispute is settled.

"We will not penalize our patients for the decisions made by Blue Cross," said Monte Bostwick, CEO of Biloxi Regional Medical Center. "Biloxi Regional Medical Center will continue serving Blue Cross patients. We are committed to working with our patients to prevent them from taking on any additional out-of-pocket expense."

"Our intent was to avoid any interruption of services while the courts resolved our dispute with BCBS of MS", explained Bill Williams, Division CEO for the Mississippi area. "We continue reaching out to BCBS of MS. It's disappointing that they've chosen to place their policy holders and our patients in the middle of this situation."

Other hospitals named as plaintiffs in the suit include: Central Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, 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.

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