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Change Healthcare

Message from The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS):

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is continuing to monitor and assess the impact that the cyberattack on UnitedHealth Group’s subsidiary Change Healthcare has had on all provider and supplier types. Today, CMS is announcing that, in addition to considering applications for accelerated payments for Medicare Part A providers, we will also be considering applications for advance payments for Part B suppliers.

Over the last few days, we have continued to meet with health plans, providers and suppliers to hear about their most pressing concerns. As announced previously, we have directed our Medicare Administrative Contractors (MAC) to expedite actions needed for providers and suppliers to change the clearinghouse they use and to accept paper claims if providers need to use that method. We will continue to respond to provider and supplier inquiries regarding MAC processes.

CMS also recognizes that many Medicaid providers are deeply affected by the impact of the cyberattack. We are continuing to work closely with States and are urging Medicaid managed care plans to make prospective payments to impacted providers, as well.

All MACs will provide public information on how to submit a request for a Medicare accelerated or advance payment on their websites as early as today, Saturday, March 9.

CMS looks forward to continuing to support the provider community during this difficult situation. All affected providers should reach out to health plans and other payers for assistance with the disruption. CMS has encouraged Medicare Advantage (MA) organizations to offer advance funding to providers affected by this cyberattack. The rules governing CMS’s payments to MA organizations and Part D sponsors remain unchanged. Please note that nothing in this statement speaks to the arrangements between MA organizations or Part D sponsors and their contracted providers or facilities.

If you have any questions, please contact Fady Sahhar.

As noted in a previous alert from the Department of Human Services (DHS), the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has also been providing updates regarding the recent cybersecurity incident that impacted Change Healthcare (a unit of UnitedHealth Group). HHS has noted that their first priority is to help coordinate efforts to avoid disruptions to care throughout the health care system.

On March 5, 2024, HHS announced immediate steps that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is taking to assist providers to continue to serve patients. CMS will continue to communicate with the health care community and assist, as appropriate. Providers should continue to work with all their payers for the latest updates on how to receive timely payments.

The Department of Human Services (DHS) has shared several available resources to address providers’ concerns regarding the Change Healthcare outage. The system remains unavailable due to a current cyber-attack. You can read the full press release, which details resources and short-term solutions.

If you have any questions, please contact Fady Sahhar.