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Judge Blocks Bryant’s Executive Order

By Jeffrey Hess | Published 28 Oct 2013 07:34pm | comments

A federal judge is blocking an executive order from Governor Phil Bryant from taking effect today. As MPB's Jeffrey Hess reports the Governor had attempted to intervene in a contract dispute between the state's largest insurer and a group of ten hospitals.

Judge Henry Wingate put a temporarily block on an executive order from Governor Phil Bryant that would have required the insurance company Blue Cross Blue Shield to bring 10 health management associate hospitals back into its network.

The two companies are currently battling over how much blue cross will pay for procedures.

David Kaufman, a lawyer for Blue Cross, says the insurance company is not violating state law because its remaining hospital network is adequate.

"We believe that the commissioner should have an opportunity to conduct his examination that the legislature asked him to do. And instructed him to do. And we are confident that we he concludes that examination he will determine that the network is adequate. as Blue Cross says," Kaufman said.

Judge Wingate says he is unsure if the executive order is constitutional or not and set a hearing for next week to delve further into the dispute.

Following the ruling, a spokesman for Governor Bryant issued a statement saying the governor will review the ruling and continue to work with Attorney General Jim Hood to resolve the matter.

HMA also responded in writing saying that they believe that patient's access to health care is hurt by the decision to kick the hospitals out of network and that they look forward to laying out their case in the hearing.

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