$5k colonoscopy? Contract dispute in Mississippi could mean patients foot the bill

The struggle between Jackson-based University of Mississippi Medical Center and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Mississippi to agree upon a new contract could leave patients footing the $5,135 bill for colonoscopy, according to the Clarion Ledger.


Here are five things to know:

1. The two sides have until July 1 to agree upon a new contract; if a new contract isn't signed, patients will be left with the entire colonoscopy bill. With coverage, patients pay $177 of the $5,135 total cost for colonoscopy with biopsy.

2. The two sides stalemated earlier this week, with the hospital arguing it needs higher payment rates because it's the only teaching hospital in the state, while BCBS of Mississippi feels the hospital has been uncooperative.

3. The contract will be terminated July 1 unless the two sides come to an agreement. The hospital plans to continue treating BCBS patients with emergencies as well as potentially those receiving ongoing treatment as in-network.

4. UMMC told the Ledger that BCBS of Mississippi's rates are "significantly lower" than other payers. The two sides have contracted for 28 years.


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