Gov. Phil Bryant Ends Litigation

BlueCrossSuesGovernorLast month ten Mississippi hospitals sued the Blue Cross and Blue Shield insurance network for dropping them, which resulted in Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant issuing an Executive on Oct. 22.

The Order temporarily reinstated those hospitals to the Blue Cross Blue Shield network for approximately 60 days and forced the hospitals to continue working with Blue Cross Blue Shield under the terms previous to the exclusion.

However, the governor quickly rescinded the Order after Blue Cross filed a federal lawsuit against him. But the investigation by the Department of Insurance will still take place to determine whether or not any laws have been violated by Blue Cross and Blue Shield when they excluded the hospitals, and if not, why the exclusion is consistent with Mississippi State law.

“I had hoped the two parties could come to some resolution, but as Governor, I cannot sit back and allow Mississippian’s access to care to be threatened in violation of state law,” Gov. Bryant had said when he issued the Order.

“It is my hope that a full investigation will ensure that no law has been broken as it relates to a patient’s access to care and a provider’s responsibility under state law.”

Gov. Bryant said that the Order was based on the 1995 Mississippi Patient Protection Act that seeks to provide “reasonable access to care with minimum inconvenience.”

But with part of the Order being withdrawn, Gov. Bryant said: “Although my attorneys and I still believe my original order would have more than likely been upheld in full by the courts, continued litigation and potential appeal would stretch well beyond the order’s original 60-day expiration.

“In light of the cost and time associated with protracted litigation, and 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.”

– Abbie Walker, News Editor

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