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Blue Cross: Gilmore can come back into our network

Reported by: Mel Carlock
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Updated: 10/14/2013 9:25 pm
AMORY, Miss. (WTVA) -- Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi has offered to reinstate Gilmore Memorial Regional Medical Center in Amory and three other hospitals owned by Health Management Associates.

BCBS officials sent out word of the offers in a news release Monday afternoon.

The other three hospitals to receive offers include Northwest Regional Medical Center in Clarksdale, Tri-Lakes Medical Center in Batesville and Women's Hospital in Flowood.

Blue Cross spokeswoman Meredith Virden says the offer is being made even if HMA continues its lawsuit against the state's largest health insurer.

HMA sued the insurer, saying it owes nearly $17 million in underpayments.

That lawsuit prompted Blue Cross to drop from its network the 10 HMA hospitals in Mississippi, meaning people with Blue Cross insurance would likely pay more for services at those hospitals.

Blue Cross accuses HMA of not being willing to take the necessary action for the four hospitals to provide a unique service to their community.

The news release says the insurer has significant concerns about charges and lack of focus on managing healthcare costs at the other six hospitals operated by HMA.

The chief executive officer of one of the HMA hospitals described the offer for Gilmore and the three other hospitals as a step in the right direction.

In a written response, River Oaks Hospital CEO Dwayne Blaylock says, "While we just received this proposal and must evaluate further, it appears to be good news for four of the ten hospitals."

Blaylock used to be Gilmore's CEO.
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