Northside Hospital has enjoyed a successful partnership with Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield for more than 30 years. However, Anthem has notified us of its intent to terminate their agreements with the Northside Hospital System effective December 31, 2021. This would include all commercial, HMO and PPO products, including Health Insurance Exchange plans as well as Medicare Advantage.
This decision surprised Northside – our agreements with Anthem were not up for renewal and were not set to expire. Nearly 400,000 Northside patients could be affected by this unplanned termination. Anthem’s threat also is muddying the open enrollment period, as patients are deciding on health care coverage for their families for the coming year.
If this action should take place, it would impact all Anthem plans, including commercial HMO and PPO products, Health Insurance Exchange, and all HMO and PPO Medicare Advantage plans and all Northside hospitals, physicians, and outpatient facilities.
Northside is working diligently to resolve this situation. We believe that our long history with Anthem gives both of us the foundation for solidifying our agreements.
Northside Hospital firmly believes that an unwavering focus on patients and their families must be our goal. As the landscape of health care in the U.S. has evolved, we have consistently worked with all our insurance partners, including Anthem, to keep patients first. When any of our partners lose sight of that goal, the result is unnecessary disruption to patient care, with the inevitable ripple effects of confusion and financial stress.
Northside Hospital’s legacy of patient care is strong – and with Northside’s current expansion of patient facilities at all of our campuses, the health care future for the Atlanta region is very bright.
For patients now covered by Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield to potentially lose in-network access to our hospitals, physicians, and other outpatient locations would be entirely unnecessary, and negatively impact tens of thousands of people.
Northside Hospital is firmly committed to avoiding that outcome. Our patients are, and will continue to be, our primary concern – and the reason that we will fight on their behalf.
We also believe that both Northside Hospital and Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield can find a solution – as long as every discussion begins, and ends, with a commitment to ensure access to quality health care for the citizens of the Atlanta region. This is the necessary outcome.