Coast hospitals file second lawsuit against MS Division of Medicaid

Coast hospitals file second lawsuit against MS Division of Medicaid

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Two coast hospital systems have filed a second lawsuit against the Mississippi Division of Medicaid (DOM) claiming the hospitals were shorted millions of dollars from Medicaid in state fiscal year 2014.

The lawsuit claims that DOM has a payment methodology that is contrary to state law. The lawsuit by Memorial Hospital at Gulfport and Singing River Health System seeks recovery of the underpayments and legal fees.

SRHS reports total underpayments of $21 million since the Division began underpaying for services provided to Medicaid beneficiaries and the uninsured. Memorial reported that underpayments have totaled $25 million.

"With recent actions taken by the Division of Medicaid to deny payments, coupled with a recently announced plan to phase in any further payment adjustments over a 10-year period, important services are now at risk," said Gary G. Marchand, President and Chief Executive Officer of Memorial Hospital. "For Memorial, the key services are mental health and access to primary care for the uninsured."

As WLOX News Now first reported, the hospitals filed suit against DOM in late June for underpayments related to fiscal year 2016. Two days later, the hospitals were notified that their appeal for underpayments in fiscal year 2014 was denied. According to a press release from Memorial Hospital, an appeal within the DOM for fiscal year 2015 underpayments remains outstanding. Hospital officials said the outcome of this lawsuit will resolve underpayments for services provided to Medicaid beneficiaries and uninsured patients in 2014 and 2015.

"It is critical that hospitals such as Singing River and Memorial are appropriately funded for the level of uninsured and underinsured services that we provide to our communities," said Kevin Holland, Chief Executive Officer for SRHS. "We are optimistic that our challenges to the current funding methodology will help redistribute these statewide funds to the places that are delivering the highest levels of uninsured and underinsured care in our state."

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