The contract impasse between Northeast Georgia Health System and BlueCross BlueShield of Georgia is over.
In a nearly last-minute announcement, the two organizations said they have reached a new, multiyear agreement that will allow BlueCross patients to continue to receive in-network access to the health system’s offices and employed physicians.
The two parties have been negotiating since January to secure a new agreement that covers services provided at NGHS facilities and by doctors in Northeast Georgia Physicians Group and The Heart Center of Northeast Georgia Medical Center.
“We have worked tirelessly to secure a new agreement that is beneficial for both parties and improves the overall health of the communities we serve,” said Carol Burrell, president and CEO of Northeast Georgia Health System, in a statement released late Tuesday by both organizations.
“This new agreement ensures that NGHS has the ability to offer the highest level of services, physicians and facilities for the regional community. We are extremely pleased that patients can continue to access our health system with no disruption in service.”
Morgan Kendrick, president of BlueCross BlueShield of Georgia, said, “We value our longstanding relationship with the hospital and medical professionals at Northeast Georgia Health System.
“Several months of hard work have brought these negotiations to a successful conclusion for the good of the community. We’re pleased that our members in the Gainesville area will continue to have access to the high-quality medical care provided by Northeast Georgia Health System.”
Two contracts were at stake in the talks: one that pertains to physicians associated with NGHS that expired Tuesday and one with the hospital that had been extended to March 1.
The new contract is effective today and covers all NGHS facilities and employed physicians, including NGMC; Northeast Georgia Physicians Group; The Heart Center; Urgent Care centers in Gainesville, Braselton, Buford and Dawsonville; The Imaging Center in Gainesville, Braselton and Dawsonville; and The Rehabilitation Institute in Braselton, Buford, Cleveland, Dahlonega, Dawsonville, Gainesville and Oakwood.
Other facilities include the Toccoa Cancer Center and Hospice of Northeast Georgia Medical Center.
The agreement terms also do not allow for contract details to be disclosed.