Cyberattack Assistance: How Practices Can Get Help Now

April 16, 2024

As previously reported, the recent cyberattack on Change Healthcare, a subsidiary of the UnitedHealth Group’s Optum unit, has resulted in nationwide outages affecting physician practices, payors, and other providers and pharmacies. Small practices, in particular, have been disproportionately affected by this disruption, according to a recent survey conducted by the American Medical Association (AMA). Though UnitedHealth Group reports claims began flowing the weekend of March 23, many practices are still experiencing serious disruptions. 

The AMA survey, conducted from March 26 to April 3, highlighted the ongoing challenges faced by practices. The survey revealed that 36% of respondents reported a suspension in claims payments, 32% were unable to submit claims, and 22% were unable to verify eligibility for benefits. These disruptions led to delayed payments, increased staff workload, and many practices reporting they had to use personal funds to cover expenses. 

Physician practices are reminded that temporary funding support is available to those affected by the Change Healthcare cyberattack. This support includes advance payments from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), as well as short-term, no-cost loans from the Optum Temporary Funding Assistance ProgramIf you find that the funds available through the Optum "check funding eligibility" tool are insufficient, practices can submit a request through the "temporary funding assistance inquiry form" or contact Optum directly at (877) 702-3253

The California Medical Association (CMA) is committed to supporting physician practices during this difficult time. We have developed a grid that lists a summary of known impacts, workarounds, and guidance from payors, which is available free to CMA members.  CMA members can reach out to us at (800) 786-4262 or economicservices@cmadocs.org

We will continue to closely monitor this situation and provide updates as they become available. Thank you for your dedication to providing quality care to your patients, even in the face of adversity. 


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