Natchez Community files lawsuit with other hospitals against Blue Cross Blue Shield

Published 10:30 am Wednesday, June 19, 2013

JACKSON — Natchez Community Hospital and nine other Mississippi hospitals owned by Health Management Associates filed a lawsuit against Blue Cross Blue Shield of Mississippi alleging the insurer wrongfully reduced inpatient payments for medical services rendered to patients.

The lawsuit alleges Blue Cross Blue Shield breached its contracts with the hospitals by failing to pay the hospitals according to those contracts. The hospitals also contends Blue Cross Blue Shield acted in bad faith by making payment changes in it’s policy manual instead of attempting to negotiate those payment changes.

The lawsuit seeks to recover approximately $13 million in alleged underpayments plus declaratory relief preventing the insurance company from unilaterally changing the terms of its contracts with hospitals.

“The people of Mississippi need hospital services and we are here to render those services. But it is unfair for insurers like Blue Cross Blue Shield to not honor the amount they agreed to pay,” Bill Williams, Division CEO for the hospitals, said. “That may benefit the insurance company and its executives, but it harms our hospitals and the communities we serve.”

The hospitals which filed the suit are Central Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, Biloxi Regional Medical Center in Biloxi, Crossgates River Oaks Hospital in Brandon, Gilmore Regional Medical Center in Amory, Madison River Oaks Medical Center in Canton, Natchez Community Hospital in Natchez, Northwest Mississippi Regional Medical Center in Clarksdale, River Oaks Hospital in Flowood, Tri-Lakes Medical Center in Batesville and Woman’s Hospital in Flowood.