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Physician practices still struggling with fallout from Change cyberattacks, latest AMA survey finds

May 01, 2024
Area(s) of Interest: Cyber Security 


Temporary funding support available to physician practices affected by Change Healthcare cyberattack

Physician practices are still in crisis and continue to experience issues with multiple operations due to the Change Healthcare cyberattack, according to the American Medical Association’s (AMA) most recent follow-up survey on the impact of the cyberattack outages.

The findings of the survey, which was conducted from April 19 to April 24, 2024 and included responses from California physicians, dispute UnitedHealth Group’s claim that their systems are nearly back to their pre-cyberattack levels and claims are again flowing.

Specifically, the survey of physician practices found that:

  • 85% continue to experience disruptions in claim payments
  • 79% still cannot receive electronic remittance advice
  • 75% still face barriers with claim submission
  • 63% are losing revenue due to the inability to charge patient co-pays or remaining obligation
  • 60% continue to face challenges in verifying patient eligibility

Survey respondents continue to experience significant financial strain from the cyberattack fallout, with 62% reporting that they used personal funds to cover practice expenses, 42% unable to purchase supplies, and more than a third reporting that they are unable to meet their payroll obligations following the cyberattack.

Physician practices are reminded that temporary funding assistance is available to those affected by the Change Healthcare cyberattack. Assistance is available in the form of 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

Additionally, the American Medical Association (AMA) has curated resources and provided tips for physicians and health care staff to protect patient health records and other data from cyberattacks

 

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