JACKSON, Miss. (AP) – A federal judge has blocked Gov. Phil Bryant from intervening in a contract dispute between Mississippi’s largest health insurer and a company that owns 10 hospitals in the state.
U.S. District Judge Henry T. Wingate issued a temporary restraining order Monday to block an executive order that Bryant issued last week. Wingate’s ruling says Bryant hasn’t provided enough proof to justify his order.
The order would’ve required Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi to resume paying in-network rates at hospitals owned by Naples, Fla.-based Health Management Associates, starting Tuesday.
Blue Cross asked Wingate to block Bryant’s order, saying the governor doesn’t have the power to dictate terms of a contract between private companies.
Bryant said that without the hospitals, Blue Cross would have an insufficient network under state law.
Today’s ruling will not affect the status of Gilmore Regional Medical Center in Amory. That H-M-A owned hospital had already been returned to the Blue Cross network prior to Bryant’s move to reinstate other HMA facilities