'Handshake agreement' between Piedmont and Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield

- Gov. Nathan Deal said there has been a "handshake agreement" between a Georgia hospital and a widespread insurance company.

On Twitter, Deal said Piedmont and Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield have made a “handshake agreement” to fully resolve their dispute by way of a new contract. That contract should be announced within the next few days.

RELATED: Gov. Deal sets deadline for Anthem, Piedmont deal

The governor's office sent the following statement Tuesday afternoon:

"A handshake agreement between Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia and Piedmont Healthcare was made in the governor’s office late this afternoon. Announcement of an agreement in the form of a contract will be made by the contracting parties as soon as possible. This deal ensures no interruption of coverage for Georgians using Piedmont Healthcare as a provider during the contract dispute."

The governor said there will be no interruption of coverage for for Georgians using Piedmont Healthcare as a provider during the contract dispute.

Deal said he if no agreement had been reached by the close of business Tuesday he "will be forced to initiate executive action."

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.

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

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.

"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.  

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

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

 

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