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2015 Legislative Breakfast
Calling on Blue Cross to act fairly
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Happy Holidays!
December 2014


This has been an impactful year for the Georgia Watch team, which your support has made possible. We are proud of our accomplishments protecting consumers from predatory lending, helping people access affordable healthcare, working to keep utility bills low and promoting access to civil justice. Visit our new website to see more.


Three new passionate policy professionals joined our team this year. 

We all look forward to opportunities in 2015 to be a powerful voice for Georgia consumers.


Beth, Elise, Pranay and I thank you for your support and wish you happy holidays and good health, happiness and prosperity in the New Year.




Liz Coyle
Acting Executive Director
2015 Legislative Breakfast


Please mark your calendars and plan to join us for our second annual Legislative Breakfast for a discussion of issues facing Georgia consumers.


2014 Breakfast Panelists

Wednesday, January 14

8:00 - 10:00 a.m.  

The Freight Depot


Tickets$40 per person, 

$75 per couple


For more information, to purchase tickets or to sponsor the event, please contact Liz Coyle at 404-525-1085 or


Georgia Watch calls on Blue Cross to act fairly


All Grady Health System facilities have been out of network for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia (BCBSGA) policyholders since midnight on November 23rd after the parties were unable to reach a new contract agreement. "We are concerned about what this means for the most vulnerable Georgia citizens who rely on Grady for their healthcare," says Georgia Watch's Health Access Program Director, Beth Stephens. For nearly three weeks, BCBSGA customers seeking routine or follow-up care at Grady have not been able to access that care as in-network customers. In 2006, Piedmont Hospital experienced similar dealings with BCBSGA when a contract agreement could not be reached and the hospital fell out of network for a short time. 


The dispute between Grady and BCBSGA hinges on reimbursement rates.  Grady says they are reimbursed up to 70% less than other hospitals for providing the same services. Additionally Grady says its world-class, Level I trauma center is reimbursed at a lower rate than other trauma centers in the state. Georgia Watch joins Grady in urging BCBSGA to pay the health system fairly for the life-saving care that Grady provides to Georgians living in and around Atlanta. Georgia Watch also urges BCBSGA not to employ bullying tactics in their negotiations that force vulnerable hospitals to accept losses and shift costs to uninsured patients and county taxpayers.


On November 19th, Beth Stephens emailed BCBSGA President Morgan Kendrick, urging the company to fulfill its responsibility to Georgia's healthcare consumers and reimburse Grady fairly for the critical services it provides. Mr. Kendrick did not respond. In a conversation on December 11th, Beth Stephens asked the Insurance Commissioner's Office whether they intended to intervene in the Grady dispute on behalf of the consumers impacted. The Office responded that they are concerned and are monitoring the situation, but that the Office lacks the authority to intervene in contract negotiations with hospitals over reimbursement rates. 


BCBSGA has a dominant share of the health insurance market here in Georgia, insuring approximately 1 in 3 Georgians. With 3 million Georgia lives in their hands, BCBSGA has a responsibility to act fairly in its business dealings. Georgia Watch will continue to look into this issue and raise awareness to ensure that BCBSGA maintains its responsibility to act as a good corporate citizen.