Gov. Deal sets deadline for Anthem, Piedmont deal

- Gov. Nathan Deal has set a deadline for a deal in a contract dispute between a Georgia hospital and a widespread insurance company.

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On Twitter, Deal said that he has asked Piedmont and Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield to resolve their dispute by the close of business Tuesday.

If not, Deal said the state "will be forced to initiate executive action."

Monday, a meeting between the two groups will be held in hopes of a resolution.

RELATED: Gov. Deal calls meeting with Piedmont, Anthem CEOs

Previously, the governor said the state and the University System of Georgia will absorb any out-of-network claims for up to 30 days to ease the impact caused by the dispute, but he emphasized that the two need to reach a long-term solution.

Piedmont and Blue Cross had been negotiating new terms but failed to reach a contract agreement by the April 1 deadline. Those affected are current state employees, retirees and their families who are eligible to use Blue Cross at a Piedmont provider.

Deal had been urging both companies to continue their negotiations.

MORE: Gov. Deal directs Piedmont, Anthem back to negotiation table

"Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia and Piedmont Healthcare must return to the negotiating table, and Blue Cross Blue Shield must honor the contractual obligations made to the state," Deal said in a statement earlier in April.

For more information on the negotiations, visit KeepPiedmont.org or bcbsga.com/Piedmont.   

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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