Blue Cross puts Piedmont out of network; thousands to be affected

Blue Cross puts Piedmont out of network; thousands to be affected

If you are insured by Blue Cross-Blue Shield in Fayette and Coweta counties, your potential medical costs could increase until a new contract is signed.

The 3-year contract between Piedmont Healthcare and Blue Cross expired at midnight on March 31. That leaves approximately 500,000 Piedmont patients, including those in Fayette and Coweta counties, in the lurch for healthcare.

The impasse means significantly higher fees for Blue Cross patients getting services from both Piedmont hospitals in Fayette and Coweta counties and from any doctor affiliated with Piedmont Physicians.

Piedmont Healthcare Chief Consumer Officer Matt Gove said Piedmont has been negotiating with Blue Cross for the past nine months and will continue to do so for the benefit of Piedmont’s patients.

Piedmont Healthcare operates 11 hospitals and a host of medical offices. While Piedmont Healthcare served approximately 500,000 patients at all its facilities in the past 18 months, Gove said he did not know the specific numbers affected in Fayette and Coweta.

Gove said the 3-year contract with Blue Cross expired on midnight, March 31. It was at that time that Blue Cross took Piedmont out of its network.

Piedmont went to the wire trying to resolve the impasse, Gove said, adding that Piedmont conceded on hundreds of contract points in an attempt to the the deal done.

“Piedmont will continue to negotiate regardless of the tactics used by Blue Cross because our patients deserve it,” said Gove. “We will continue trying for a negotiation to find a resolution.”

Gov. Nathan Deal also weighed in on the impasse. “I will continue to prod the parties to come to an agreement,” said Deal, noting the problem caused for state employees, according to georgiahealthnews.com.