Anthem BCBS names new Georgia leadership as Northside legal woes broaden

Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield named Robert Bunch president Jan. 20, but the move comes as the payer potentially faces a new opponent in its legal battle against Atlanta-based Northside Hospital System, according to 11Alive

Mr. Bunch, who previously served Anthem as its COO and vice president of Anthem national accounts, is a 20-year veteran with the payer. 

"Robert brings a wealth of experience to this role and a commitment to fulfilling our mission of improving the lives and communities we serve," said Brian Shipp, president and senior vice president of commercial business. "In addition to in-depth knowledge of the healthcare industry, Robert is a proven leader who spent many years in the Georgia market, which will benefit our members, employer customers and provider partners.”

However, Mr. Bunch steps into the position as Cherokee County, Ga., seeks to be named an additional plaintiff in the ongoing legal battle between Anthem and Northside, according to 11Alive. Most recently, Anthem moved to overturn a court order that required it to keep the hospital system in its network. 

Now, Cherokee County is seeking to step into the fray as it claims about half of its residents and government employees are covered by Anthem. Northside is the county's main hospital, and a failure to renew a network contract between the parties would disrupt care and affordability for residents, according to 11Alive

An emergency hearing involving all three parties is slated for Jan. 26. 

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