Piedmont Healthcare and Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield finalized an agreement Monday for BCBS to continue covering treatment in-network at Piedmont hospitals and by Piedmont-affiliated doctors.
The contract between the health care provider, which owns Athens Regional, and insurance company ended Apr. 1 with the two sides unable to agree on reimbursement rates. Gov. Nathan Deal urged them both back to the negotiating table, and they reached a "handshake deal" on Friday.
The agreement restores full coverage for 3.5 million BCBS customers in Georgia, many of whom had been randomly assigned new physicians after the most recent contract expired. Piedmont will be calling patients to reschedule canceled appointments, but patients are also encouraged to call their doctors.
The contract expiration affected more than 500,000 state employees, including those at UGA, as well as Clarke County School District and Athens-Clarke County government employees and others covered by BCBS who see Piedmont doctors.
The new contract is retroactive to Apr. 1 and runs until 2021.