UPDATE: Negotiations between Blue Cross Blue Shield, MCG continue

By: Staff Email
By: Staff Email

Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2012

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- News 12 received an update from Blue Cross Blue Shield on Tuesday that negotiations are still ongoing.

Blue Cross Blue Shield released this statement:

"Our BCBSGa Members should know that if they need emergency care, they should go to the closest ER or Trauma facility and, in most instances, their care will be covered at in-network rates. We want to reassure our Members that their health care needs will be met, and that case-by-case reviews will be made when medically necessary covered services may not be offered elsewhere in the Augusta region."

Monday, Aug. 13, 2012

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- News 12 has received the following statement from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia on its upcoming renewal deadline with MCG.

"Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia, Inc. and BlueCross BlueShield Healthcare Plan of Georgia, Inc. (collectively “BCBSGa”) continue to discuss the renewal of our contract with Georgia Health Sciences (GHS) Medical Center and GHS Medical Associates [previously known as Medical College of Georgia (MCG) and Physicians Practice Group (PPG)] in Augusta, Georgia, to keep them in our network and available to our members.

As a result of MCG/PPG’s election to terminate their HMO, POS and PPO contracts with BCBSGa, effective at midnight on Wednesday, August 15, 2012, our members will unfortunately no longer be able to access MCG/PPG physicians and services at in-network benefits. Additionally, the Indemnity contract between BCBSGa and MCG/PPG will terminate on October 8, 2012, and therefore MCG will be considered an out-of-network provider effective October 8, 2012.

Although there is continuous movement towards reaching an agreement, it is difficult to do so when MCG/PPG introduced new terms during negotiations as recently as last week. Additionally, although it is our hope to reach an agreement, we are reluctant to agree to terms which we believe may interfere with our ability to provide quality service to our customers. Our Agreements reimburse both MCG and PPG fairly, and we remain committed to negotiating an arrangement that further rewards MCG and PPG for improvements in the quality of services they offer to our Members

We are committed to protecting our members from exceedingly high medical costs that will result in higher out-of-pocket costs for our members. Therefore, our primary goal during contract negotiations is to ensure we are compensating providers fairly, while providing our members access to affordable health care.

If an agreement cannot be reached by the deadline, we remain open to ongoing discussions surrounding a future return of MCG/PPG to our network.

We want to assure our BCBSGa members that services rendered by MCG/PPG are available from other quality in-network providers which include more than 185 hospitals and 16,000 physicians.

If members have questions or concerns, they can find additional details by visiting www.bcbsga.com/networkstatus or by calling our dedicated customer service line, 866-800-8776, which is open Monday to Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (EDT)."

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