Piedmont Healthcare and health insurer Cigna on Oct. 23 announced a “multi-year” contract extension that will keep the company’s patients in-network at the healthcare system’s facilities, including the flagship Piedmont Hospital in Buckhead.

That’s a difference from some of Piedmont’s negotiations with other insurers, with disputes that left UnitedHealthcare patients out-of-network for a time in 2016 and, earlier this year, put half-a-million Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia patients in a similar position of paying higher costs to see their Piedmont doctors. The Anthem dispute was resolved after the invention of Gov. Nathan Deal.

Piedmont said in a press release that it struck a deal with Cigna 120 days before the expiration of their current contract. The healthcare system cited its partnership with Cigna on a “collaborative care program” that, it says, improved patient health while reducing costs for both organizations.

“When providers and health plans have a common goal, it is easy for us to find common ground on these extremely important agreements,” said Kevin Brown, Piedmont Healthcare’s president and CEO in the press release. “Having this new contract completed 120 days before it was set to expire is a testament to that.”

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