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Court grants Northside Hospital a second injunction extension that keeps Anthem patients in network

A judge has extended an injunction that ensures thousands of Georgians will continue to receive health care from their current physicians and preferred hospitals, according to a press release from Northside Hospital Forsyth.

This most recent decision by the Superior Court of Fulton County enables Anthem members who seek care at Northside’s hospitals, clinics, and physician practices to remain fully covered and in-network through April 15, the release said.

In a court hearing on Jan. 26, Anthem sought to end the 30-day injunction and initiate an immediate termination of health care coverage for Northside patients. On Friday, Jan. 28, a judge denied Anthem’s request and granted the extension to Northside.

Other stakeholders in the Atlanta region – which along with Forsyth, include Cherokee and Gwinnett counties – provided support through their own court filings or letters of concern. Tens of thousands of government employees and local teachers are Anthem members, and they would be adversely affected if a termination had occurred, according to the release.

While the injunction extension keeps Northside’s Anthem patients in-network, Northside and Anthem remain in negotiations as they try to work out new agreements.

According to the release, Northside’s agreements with Anthem were not up for renewal and were not set to expire. Still, Anthem began a process that would separate hundreds of thousands of Georgians from their doctors and health care resources by unilaterally and without cause terminating the existing agreements.

In its original court filings in late 2021, Northside cited a Georgia law that went into effect July 1. House Bill 454 was approved by both houses of the Georgia General Assembly and signed by Gov. Brian Kemp. It prevents insurance companies from terminating health care providers during a public health emergency, such as COVID-19.

Northside has worked diligently to resolve this situation and is acutely aware of the stress and frustration of Anthem members and their families. Northside will continue its discussions with Anthem, with the intention of reaching an agreement that provides the best benefits to patients.