ATLANTA — Anthem, a Blue Cross Blue Shield Association health insurance provider, has filed an emergency motion that leaves the in-network healthcare coverage of over 400,000 patients up in the air. This is only the latest in a line of litigious exchanges between Anthem and Northside Hospital.
Back in Dec. 2021, fears were rising that Anthem and Northside Hospital would not reach a new agreement by the end of the month. The tense contractual standoff put hundreds of thousands of patients' healthcare coverage at risk.
Just before the deadline, Northside Hospital was granted "injunctive relief" by the Superior Court of Fulton County. Anthem's contract with the hospital was consequently extended 30 days, temporarily stopping the termination of healthcare coverage for over 400,000 patients.
On Jan. 11, Anthem confirmed to 11Alive the filing of an emergency motion to terminate the temporary restraining order that is allowing Northside Hospital patients to remain in-network with Blue Cross Blue Shield.
The healthcare provider offered the following statement:
Our members can rest assured knowing that we cover emergency care, including treatment for COVID, at any provider, whether that provider chooses to be in our network or not. Ensuring access to care is why we began negotiations early and have been working in good faith for seven months to reach a new agreement with Northside. We have given Northside a proposal with generous increases – one they could sign immediately – yet they have refused. Northside wishes to continue operating under a contract that will not achieve the affordability or quality improvements we have been seeking, and our members deserve. We’d like Northside to join us in focusing solely on reaching an agreement that is in the best interests of consumers.