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>>

  • Body found in 18 wheeler on I-20

    Body found in 18 wheeler on I-20

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 10:15 PM EDT2014-07-23 02:15:18 GMT
    The body of an unidentified man was found inside an 18 wheeler, Tuesday night. It happened at the weigh station on Interstate 20 westbound in Warren County. The State Highway Patrol and Warren CountyMore >>
    MDOT enforcement officers went to check out a suspicious vehicle that had not moved all day.
    More >>
  • Coroner: Girl's body was found in abandoned trailer's bathroom

    Coroner: Girl's body was found in abandoned trailer's bathroom

    Friday, July 18 2014 3:26 PM EDT2014-07-18 19:26:33 GMT
    It's been an extremely difficult day for family and friends as well as officers. So many people were crying, upset as the body of 5-year-old Janaya Thompson was removed from an abandoned trailer.More >>
    It's been an extremely difficult day for family and friends as well as officers. So many people were crying, upset as the body of 5-year-old Janaya Thompson was removed from an abandoned trailer. Coroner Gary Hargrove said Janaya's body was found in a bathroom.More >>
  • Biloxi approves ballpark construction bid

    Biloxi approves ballpark construction bid

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 6:53 AM EDT2014-07-23 10:53:07 GMT
    The Biloxi City Council met Tuesday to discuss the next step in seeing the first pitch thrown at MGM Ballpark. The Council pushed forward to approve a construction bid.More >>
    Construction of the new MGM Ballpark in Biloxi could get underway as soon as mid August. The city council met Tuesday to discuss the next step in seeing the first pitch thrown at MGM Ballpark. The council pushed forward to approve a construction bid.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.