Piedmont Healthcare in Atlanta has signed a three-year contract with UnitedHealthcare after previously warning its commercial members that they would be treated as out-of-network patients. A two-month long stalemate as the system negotiated its contract with the insurer caught customers in the middle.
Under the new deal, Piedmont and UnitedHealthcare have made coverage retroactive to July 1, when the original contract expired, so patients won't get out-of-network bills for services they received, the two sides said in a release Saturday.
“Our priority is our patients and this process has been very tough on them. We are very happy to have found common ground and a way that Piedmont and UnitedHealthcare can work collaboratively to extend high-quality, patient-centered care in our communities,” said Piedmont CEO Kevin Brown.
A Piedmont spokesman said terms of the deal are not being disclosed. It's not clear whether the stalemate resulted in lost patient volumes at Piedmont. During the impasse, visitors to Piedmont's website were warned that they might be subject to out-of-network costs if they were UnitedHealthcare enrollees.
Piedmont's new contract with UnitedHealthcare means that plan participants enrolled in UnitedHealthcare employer-sponsored and individual plans will have in-network access to the 1,400 physicians in the Piedmont Clinic and Piedmont hospitals, the release said.
The hospitals are Piedmont Atlanta, Piedmont Fayette, Piedmont Mountainside, Piedmont Newnan, Piedmont Henry and Piedmont Newton.
Piedmont is one of Georgia's largest healthcare systems with 2015 revenue of $1.86 billion. UnitedHealthcare is a subsidiary of UnitedHealth Group, the largest health insurer in the country. UnitedHealthcare of Georgia covers about 1.3 million people in Georgia.
Piedmont and UnitedHealthcare said the new agreement stresses value-based performance, “ensuring the care patients receive is focused on improved outcomes and overall better health.”
“We are grateful for the commitment Piedmont has made to value-based health care and look forward to working together to help people receive personalized and more connected care,” said Garland Scott, CEO of UnitedHealthcare of Georgia.