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BCBS of Mississippi and UMMC reach an...

BCBS of Mississippi and UMMC reach an agreement

By: Sarah Ulmer - December 16, 2022

As soon of December 15, UMMC facilities will be participating in coverage for BCBSMS health plans. 

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Mississippi and the University of Mississippi Medical Center have reached a long awaited agreement regarding coverage at UMMC facilities for BCBSMS policy holders.

UMMC put out the following press release regarding the agreement: 

The University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC) and Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi (Blue Cross) have reached an agreement.

Effective December 15, 2022, all UMMC facilities, physicians and other individual Professional Providers are fully participating Network Providers for all Blue Cross commercial health plans, including the Federal Employee Plan and Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans from other states.

Blue Cross and UMMC remain focused on their missions of serving Mississippians’ health care needs.

The terms of the contracts are confidential.

Negotiations for new terms of coverage have been going on between the two entities since January, after months of requested extension requests made by UMMC.

In October, Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney told a crowd at Hob Nob, that he believed the two were close to an agreement and both needed to make concessions for the good of the policy holders.

RELATED:  Insurance Commissioner Chaney discloses details about recent UMMC reimbursement demands

He added that getting the issue solved was of great importance since insurance companies are currently in the renewal period.

Upon the news of the agreement, Commissioner Mike Chaney called the move a “Christmas gift” to the 750,000 BCBSMS policyholders.

Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney

“While this matter drug on far too long and resulted in undue hardship and disregard for many patients and over 750,000 BCBS enrollees, I am thankful that the parties were able to overcome their differences and find common ground.  UMMC is in the process of informing its patients that the hospital and Methodist Rehab are back in network. Children and patients in need of specialty medical now have access to UMMC,” said Chaney in a statement.

He went on to thank Mr. Walter Johnson for his work in mediating the dispute.  He said Johnson’s early efforts played an integral part in the parties achieving a resolution.

“I sincerely hope that UMMC and BCBSMS will now move forward in a collaborative relationship to provide innovative, accessible and affordable healthcare in our State and will put patients and policyholders as their first priority,” said Chaney.

Chaney said the department will be pursuing legislation in the 2023 Session to protect consumers and policyholders in the future from getting caught in the middle of these types of contract disputes.

About the Author(s)
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Sarah Ulmer

Sarah is a Mississippi native, born and raised in Madison. She is a graduate of Mississippi State University, where she studied Communications, with an emphasis in Broadcasting and Journalism. Sarah’s experience spans multiple mediums, including extensive videography with both at home and overseas, broadcasting daily news, and hosting a live radio show. In 2017, Sarah became a member of the Capitol Press Corp in Mississippi and has faithfully covered the decisions being made by leaders on some of the most important issues facing our state. Email Sarah: