Georgia governor slaps April 17 deadline on Piedmont-BCBS negotiations before state intervenes

Republican Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal said the state will step in to resolve a contract spat between Atlanta-based Piedmont Healthcare and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia if the two sides don't ink a new agreement by April 17.

The governor, Piedmont and BCBSGA scheduled an April 16 meeting to assess how negotiations are progressing. The meeting comes nearly two weeks after a Piedmont-BCBSGA contract expired March 31. The stalemate has left hundreds of thousands of BCBSGA patients without in-network access to Piedmont. During the lapsed contract, Georgia and the University System of Georgia, based in Atlanta, are absorbing out-of-network claims for 30 days for about 600,000 state employees affected by the spat.

In an April 16 tweet, the governor said, "I asked @AnthemInc and @PiedmontHealth to resolve their contract dispute by COB tomorrow or the state will be forced to initiate executive action."

On April 9, BCBSGA said it "continues to be actively engaged in negotiations to bring Piedmont Healthcare, Inc. and Piedmont Clinic Physician Practices (collectively 'Piedmont') back into our network as soon as possible. These negotiations are a company-wide effort, including the 100 percent involvement by the BCBSGA plan president."

On its website, Piedmont, a 10-hospital nonprofit system, said it will continue to work with BCBSGA to reach a resolution.

More articles on payer issues:
UnitedHealthcare can protest loss in $12B Pennsylvania Medicaid contract
BCBS of Kansas taps new CEO, CIO, VPs: 4 takeaways
Georgia governor to Piedmont, BCBS CEOs: We're meeting, and 'I expect an update' on negotiations

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