Contract between Anthem, Georgia health system expires

Negotiations between Anthem and Gainesville-based Northeast Georgia Health System fell through before a new contract could be reached by an Oct. 1 deadline, according to The Georgia Sun.

In June, NGHS warned 40,000 patients their care could be disrupted if disagreements between the two organizations weren't resolved. Now, thousands of NGHS patients with Anthem insurance could face out-of-network prices if they access care at NGHS' hospitals, urgent care facilities and physician group centers.

Steve McNeilly, vice president of managed care for NGHS, told The Georgia Sun Oct. 1: "Despite our determined efforts to protect in-network access for patients, Anthem continues to demand terms that would negatively impact the way patients receive care at NGHS. We have offered Anthem a proposal that is fair to both parties, yet they refuse to work with us in a meaningful way."

Anthem told The Georgia Sun NGHS was proposing rate increases that "were projected to increase costs well above other health systems in the state." The insurer said it will continue to work toward a new agreement with NGHS.

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