Arkansas' "any willing provider" law has been suspended by the same judge who reinstated it last month after a 6-year-long ban. The 1995 law requires insurers to open their networks to all providers willing to abide by their contract terms. U.S. District Judge James Moody in Little Rock decided to suspend the law again to allow an appeal by Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield, which contends the law impinges on insurers' ability to control costs and quality of care. The Blues plan has until April 6 to file its claim with the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis. The 8th Circuit permanently blocked the law in 1998, ruling it violated the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act. The statute was resurrected after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled a similar any-willing-provider law in Kentucky did not run afoul of ERISA. -- by Laura B. Benko
Ark. 'any willing provider' law suffers another delay
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