Hospitals rally against Blue Cross Blue Shield - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Hospitals rally against Blue Cross Blue Shield

Posted: Updated:
FLOWOOD, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Health Management Associates is taking its fight against Blue Cross Blue Shield of Mississippi a step farther. They've organized community rallies in multiple cities across the state.

HMA sued the insurance company in June. They claimed they weren't getting the money they were owed. Just a week later, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Mississippi dropped those 10 hospitals from it's network list a week later.

Since that time, HMA has committed to absorbing the out-of-network costs for patients. However, they're concerned that the hospitals will be in jeopardy as more time passes.

A legislative committee heard the arguments on September 16.

Dozens of new signatures are now showing up on the petition to save HMA owned hospitals. The slogan "Standing Together" is stamped on everything from buttons, to cups, to shirts. But the pleas at the rallies are personal.

"We sent letters to the Representatives and I wrote a note at the bottom. I am a single mom. I'm a widow with three children. Please, I need this job," said Emily Oliver, nurse at Madison River Oaks Hospital.

Oliver has watched co-workers leave for other jobs. She says it's all a domino effect from Blue Cross removing the hospitals from the network list.

"They just were worried so much that they were going to be laid off and they thought that this was a sinking ship. And they knew they had to do something to provide for their family," said Oliver.

Blue Cross states the rallies are just distractions from the real issue. They said it's not about access but about the cost of healthcare.

In a statement BCBS leaders said, "The facts are that HMA area hospitals charge their patients significantly more than other area Network Hospitals charge their patients - in some cases more than double the charges."

Still, health care professionals and community leaders point their fingers to Blue Cross for the problems.

"I thought being a nurse, I would always have a job and wouldn't have to worry about that. And Blue Cross has taken away from me, away from all of us," explained Woman's Hospital nurse Jessica Ragan.

Ragan is ready to save her hospital. She's watches the numbers of patients shrink everyday.

"At our staffing meetings everyday, we talk about our census and we make sure we're staffed appropriately for the upcoming days. And our surgeries are down, our deliveries are down. It's heartbreaking," Ragan said.

Legislators hope the dispute is resolved soon. But some say they are interested in intro ducting legislation that would essentially eliminate insurance networks for hospitals.

Copyright 2013 MSNewsNow. All rights reserved.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Water advisories issued for 6 areas of the beach

    Water advisories issued for 6 areas of the beach

    Saturday, April 19 2014 7:55 AM EDT2014-04-19 11:55:08 GMT
    Advisories have been issued for several sections of the beach in Harrison and Hancock counties. The beaches aren't closed, but there may be an increased risk of illness associated with swimming in these areas.More >>
    Advisories have been issued for several sections of the beach in Harrison and Hancock counties. The beaches aren't closed, but there may be an increased risk of illness associated with swimming in these six areas.
    More >>
  • Biloxi bakery celebrates 90 sweet years in business

    Biloxi bakery celebrates 90 sweet years in business

    Saturday, April 19 2014 6:54 AM EDT2014-04-19 10:54:05 GMT
    A Biloxi bakery has many people thinking of delicious pastries for Easter time. And they've been doing it for nine decades! The Electrik Maid Bake Shop is celebrating 90 years in the baking business.More >>
    A Biloxi bakery has many people thinking of delicious pastries for Easter time. And they've been doing it for nine decades! The Electrik Maid Bake Shop is celebrating 90 years in the baking business.More >>
  • Pearl High School student takes dream date to prom

    Pearl High School student takes dream date to prom

    Saturday, April 19 2014 12:26 AM EDT2014-04-19 04:26:01 GMT
    18-year-old Jacob Daniels can barely wipe the smile off his face, in anticipation of his Senior Prom Friday night. His mother Lori helps him try on his tuxedo as he talks about the dream girl he'll beMore >>
    Eighteen-year-old Jacob Daniels can barely wipe the smile off his face, in anticipation of his Senior Prom Friday night. His mother Lori helps him try on his tuxedo as he talks about the dream girl he'll be arm in arm with.
    More >>
Powered by WorldNow

208 DeBuys Road
Biloxi, MS 39531
(228) 896-1313

FCC Public File
EEO Report
Closed Captioning

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and WLOX. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.