Piedmont Healthcare has reached a “multiyear” contract extension agreement with major insurer United Healthcare, keeping tens of thousands of members in-network.

In 2016, Piedmont and United had a lengthy contract disagreement that left the insurer’s members out of network and facing higher healthcare costs. The current contract extension, announced in an April 14 press release, heads off any similar loss of coverage during the coronavirus pandemic.

“We appreciate UnitedHealthcare’s collaboration in quickly reaching this agreement so that our full attention can be directed towards our patients and our communities,” said Kevin Brown, president and CEO of Piedmont Healthcare, in the press release. “Our goal is to provide the best care available to our patients during the current crisis and to focus our resources on the fight against COVID-19.”

Piedmont spokesperson John Manasso would not specify how many years the extension will run or why the number is confidential. “We have chosen not to make that information public,” he said.

Piedmont is a not-for-profit that runs 11 metro-area hospitals — including the flagship Piedmont Atlanta Hospital in Buckhead — and more than 800 clinics. The Buckhead hospital recently opened part of a new tower early to handle COVID-19 patients.

John Ruch

John Ruch is an Atlanta-based journalist. Previously, he was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.