Blue Cross Blue Shield of MS reinstating 10 hospitals

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Biloxi Regional Medical Center is back in the Blue Cross Blue Shield insurance network as of January 1, 2014.

Health Management Associates, the owners of Biloxi Regional, announced Friday it has reached an agreement for all of its hospitals in Mississippi to be reinstated in the Blue Cross network. A contract dispute earlier this year lead to BCBS of Mississippi to drop ten hospitals from the network.

According to the agreement, the HMA hospitals agreed to dismiss their lawsuit permanently against BCBS of Mississippi. And BCBS will not be required to pay any money as a result of the dismissal.

HMA released a statement Friday morning expressing regret that the dispute "became so negative and impactful to the people at Blue Cross, its members, our own associates, and to our physicians and patients."

It went on to say, "There are many positive things Blue Cross and HMA's hospitals can do together, and that has always been the preference of both organizations."

Governor Phil Bryant weighed in Friday afternoon saying, "I am gratified that the patients and employees who were impacted by this dispute now have peace of mind in knowing that an agreement has been reached."

Bryant used his executive authority earlier this year to call both sides back to negotiations.

The following HMA hospitals will be in-network providers for Blue Cross members starting January 1, 2014:

  • Biloxi Regional Medical Center in Biloxi
  • River Oaks Hospital in Flowood
  • Central Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson
  • Madison River Oaks Medical Center in Canton
  • Crossgates River Oaks Hospital in Brandon
  • Natchez Community Hospital in Natchez

Four HMA hospitals are currently in-network providers for Blue Cross members. Those are as follows:

  • Gilmore Memorial Regional Medical Center in Amory
  • Northwest Regional Medical Center in Clarksdale
  • Tri-Lakes Medical Center in Batesville
  • Woman's Hospital in Flowood

Copyright 2013 WLOX. All rights reserved.