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Amid ongoing dispute with insurer, hospital bills differ

August 2, 2018

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Amid an ongoing dispute between Mississippi’s largest hospital system and a health insurance firm, secret contracts lead to dramatic differences in bills for treatment.

The Clarion Ledger obtained identical charges for two patients who visited the University of Mississippi Medical Center emergency department in recent months.

It found that a patient insured by UnitedHealth care resulted in a $4,328 fee to the insurer. But Blue Cross Blue Shield got a large discount was charged just 13 percent of that for the same service.

In May, the University of Mississippi Medical Center informed Blue Cross Blue Shield of Mississippi that it would stop accepting its policies after June 30, a deadline which has been extended while the two sides negotiate new contract terms. The health system will continue providing in-network costs to Blue Cross Blue Shield patients in the interim.

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Information from: The Clarion Ledger, http://www.clarionledger.com

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