Several Piedmont patients now out of network

(Source: WGCL)

Piedmont Hospital and Blue Cross Blue Shield are fighting over a contract, and people who rely on them for health care are caught in the middle.

Patients with standing appointments are urged to call their insurance provider for assistance finding another provider or be prepared to pay a higher premium.

"Well it's unsettling," says Stephanie Davis.

Davis is disabled and could not believe her health costs are about to surge.

"And although Piedmont is closer to my residence, I may try to opt to go to Emory Midtown and not even come to Piedmont if I'm not going to even have coverage," says Davis.

Piedmont Healthcare and Blue Cross Blue Shield failed to reach a new agreement on contract extensions.

As a result, Piedmont was taken out of the insurance provider's network. One of the unresolved issues is how much Blue Cross would reimburse Piedmont for services.

"Those of us who need to be able to choose our own doctors to have that happen violates the agreement we have with BCBS to be able to go and choose the options."

It is estimated that the failed deal impacts about half a million patients across the state.

"So the bottom line is they're going to have to work it out at some point and it ought to be sooner than later because they're putting lives at risk."

Anthem, Inc. released the following statement to CBS46:Despite our ongoing efforts, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia has been unable to reach a new agreement with Piedmont Healthcare that will keep them in our network of health care providers beginning on April 1.

We apologize to our consumers for any disruption this may cause and we are working hard to reach an agreement with Piedmont as quickly as possible. Our priority is to protect our consumers and ensure that they continue to have access to affordable health care through the Piedmont network.

In the meantime, we also are taking steps to help ensure our consumers have uninterrupted access to affordable healthcare across our broad network of providers in Georgia. We urge consumers with questions to call us at the toll-free member services number on their Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia ID card, or access to view a list of providers in their area. Importantly, we want to remind our consumers that emergency care is always a covered benefit -- anyone with a medical emergency should always call 911 or go to the nearest emergency department. A representative for Blue Cross Blue Shield is encouraging customers to call the number on the back of their ID card so they can help determine the best course of action to get necessary care.

What you need to know:

If you have an emergency, dial 911. Emergencies are always a covered benefit. There are certain patients this does not affect. Among those are Blue Cross Medicare Advantage Members, a person with a chronic or terminal illness or a woman who is pregnant. This does not affect Piedmont Rockdale, Piedmont Columbus Regional and the newly acquired Monroe Hospital.

Facilities and Practices affected include:

Piedmont Clinic Physician Practices Piedmont Athens Regional Medical Center Piedmont Fayette Hospital Piedmont Henry Hospital Piedmont Mountainside Hospital Piedmont Outpatient Center at East Elijay Piedmont Newnan Hospital Piedmont Newton Hospital (Covington) Piedmont Imaging/Diagnostics Centers Piedmont Ambulatory Surgery Centers Piedmont Clinic physicians who may practice at Urgent Care and Retail health clinics, including some WellStreet and Walgreen locations.If you are a member and have a question about your health plan, please call the number on the back of your ID card.

Vendors should contact Anthem's Sourcing & Supplier Performance department. Learn more.

For all general inquiries, contact Anthem’s Switchboard at (800) 331-1476.

Copyright 2018 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


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