Senate passes bill to make Grady “in network” for Blue Cross

[private]The Georgia Senate has passed legislation (SB 143) that could resolve a long-running contract dispute between Grady Health System and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia in Grady’s favor.

Blue Cross is a major player in the State Health Benefit Plan (SHBP), the health insurance program that covers more than 600,000 state employees, teachers, retirees and their dependents.

The health insurance giant has not reached an agreement with Grady on a new contract, so Grady is no longer designated as one of Blue Cross’s approved “in network” healthcare providers.

SB 143 would require Blue Cross, in its role with the State Health Benefit Plan, to “include in its provider network all Level 1 trauma centers located in its defined service area.”  That would put Grady back in the Blue Cross network.

The Senate voted 48-5 Friday to pass SB 143, which is sponsored by Sen. Chuck Hufstetler (R-Rome), and moved it to the House of Representatives.

In other “crossover day” votes, the Senate:

Passed SB 138, which will implement revisions in the state’s child welfare system that were recommended by a commission appointed by Gov. Nathan Deal.  The bill would have the DFCS director report directly to the governor, create a DFCS advisory board, and establish a child abuse registry.

Passed SB 130, which would ban smoking in a car if a child age 15 or younger is riding in that vehicle.

Passed SB 36, which would require the state Board of Natural Resources to pass rules protecting the water quality of Georgia’s underground aquifer, including the Floridan aquifer along the coast.

© 2015 by The Georgia Report

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Tags: Blue Cross Blue Shield , Georgia Senate , Grady Health System , in-network provider , State Health Benefit Plan