Bryant amends order, Blue Cross drops federal suit

JACKSON, MS (WLOX) - Gov. Phil Bryant has modified his executive order, which had previously required Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Mississippi to temporarily reinstate ten Mississippi hospitals pending an investigation by the Department of Insurance.

The order no longer requires action on the part of Blue Cross or the hospitals. It does, however, require the Department of Insurance to conduct a hearing or to submit a report to the Governor on why no hearing is necessary.

Blue Cross also voluntarily dismissed its related federal lawsuit Friday.

"I appreciate Blue Cross's willingness to re-engage in discussions with the hospitals to see whether there is room for a compromise that will benefit all involved, including most importantly the patients that Blue Cross insures and these hospitals serve. I am also encouraged that four of the affected hospitals were recently readmitted to the Blue Cross network."

Bryant went on to say that while he believes his original order would have more than likely been upheld in full by the courts, continued litigation and a potential appeal would stretch well beyond the order's original 60-day time limit.

"Because I believe more progress can be made on this issue outside of litigation, I am amending my order to remove those portions contested in federal court."

Governor Bryant did warn that if both parties can't find a private or administrative solution to the problem, he would expected the state Legislature to take action during the 2014 session.

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