Blue Cross ending contract with HMA in wake of lawsuit

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Mississippi has told the state’s second-largest hospital owner that it will end its contract with the company’s 10 Mississippi hospitals at the end of August.

The insurer sent the notice of termination to the Health Management Associates hospitals statewide on June 25. That was a week after Florida-based HMA sued Blue Cross for $13 million, claiming the Flowood-based insurer is breaking contract terms.

At the same time, Jackson’s University of Mississippi Medical Center and Blue Cross continue talks over payment rates, with the chance that the insurer will no longer contract for treatment at the state’s largest hospital.

If Blue Cross no longer has contracts, hospitals would be reimbursed at lower out-of-network rates, meaning individual patients could face much higher out-of-pocket costs.

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