Governor Bryant issues executive order to reinstate HMA hospital - - Jackson, MS

Governor Bryant issues executive order to reinstate HMA hospitals

JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Governor Phil Bryant issued an executive order Tuesday reinstating ten hospitals to the Blue Cross Blue Shield network. This will last for 60 days until an investigation can be done. 

Bryant wants everyone to come to a resolution on their own but wants to make sure no laws are being broken. He threatened the executive order last week. Blue Cross responded by suing him Friday, saying he doesn't have the authority to issue something like this.

That didn't stop the Governor though. His order states the 10 HMA Hospitals will temporarily be returned to the network under the same terms of their prior contracts. River Oaks is one of those hospitals.

"All we've ever said to blue cross is this, put us back in network and let's work behind the scenes with each other to resolve this dispute," said Flowood River Oaks CEO Dwayne Blaylock.

While the dispute's not done, the order gives the Department of Insurance time to complete it's ongoing investigation of whether taking the hospitals' out of network leaves too many gaps.

State Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney says he's got a lot of work to do.

"It gets very complicated when you start looking at who can do what. And it's not something you can just click your finger and say I've got an answer for," said Chaney.

The review could take another six weeks to complete.

"At the present time we've focused within the metro area. We kinda knew what we needed to do. We've been working on this since back in August," explained Chaney.

The issue started with HMA saying they weren't being paid what they were owed by Blue Cross. The Governor's order doesn't resolve that pending legal matter. Still, River Oaks' CEO is celebrating.

"This is a victory for the patients to be able to have access to the places and physicians and the nurses that they want to receive care from," said Blaylock.

Again, the ten affected hospitals will be returned to the Blue Cross Network for 60 days.


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