Court order extends coverage for 400,000 affected by Anthem, Northside dispute

Nearly 400,000 patients affected by a contract dispute between Anthem and Atlanta-based Northside Hospital System will maintain in-network rates for another month after a judge issued an injunction.

The Dec. 30 order from the Superior Court of Fulton County (Ga.) requires Anthem to keep Northside in-network past the previous Dec. 31 deadline until Feb. 1, according to 11Alive

The court cited a Georgia law that bars insurers from removing providers from their network amid a public health emergency. 

Northside Hospital called the injunction "a major victory for hundreds of thousands of Georgians" on its website. A Northside spokesperson told Becker's the hospital had no further details to share at this time. 

Anthem said it will continue to head up negotiations, which it claims should address rising medical costs. 

"We want to ensure affordable access to quality healthcare during the pandemic and beyond," an Anthem spokesperson told Becker's. "We began negotiations with Northside early and have been working in good faith for seven months to reach a new agreement for the benefit of our customers and members."

"Continuing the current contract will not achieve the affordability or quality improvements we have been seeking from Northside, which is why we will not stop our good faith negotiation efforts until we reach an agreement that is in the best interests of consumers."

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