Union ad targets North Carolina hospital's billing practices

A new television ad is attacking the billing practices used by Mission Hospital in Asheville, N.C., according to local news station WLOS.

The commercial, paid for by the State Employee Association of North Carolina, is accusing Mission Hospital of using secret contracts to bill state employees up to 900 percent more than Medicare.

The state health plan contracts with an insurer, which then separately contracts with the hospital to determine the reimbursement rate.

"Basically, the state health plan is having to pay bills that they had no part of negotiating. So, it’s no different than going to a store, loading up your cart, having no idea what the cost is and then getting the bill," Andris Watkins, legislative affairs director at the state employee association, told WLOS.

Mission Health denies using secret contracts.

"Mission Health supports affordable health insurance coverage for all North Carolinians. We, like other hospitals across the state, have an agreement with [Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina] covering the state health plan employees. As we have for the previous 134 years, Mission Health remains committed to improving the health and wellness of our region," Mission Health told WLOS.

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