Outages from Change Healthcare cyberattack causing financial ‘mess’ for doctors

Health-care providers are facing financial pressures as reimbursement systems remain down for the ninth day, following the cyberattack on Change Healthcare.

Small private practices and health-care providers are facing mounting financial pressures as crucial reimbursement systems remain down for the ninth day, following the cyberattack on Change Healthcare. 

Change Healthcare offers tools for payment and revenue cycle management that help facilitate transactions between providers and most major insurance companies. Its parent company UnitedHealth Group discovered that a cyber threat actor breached part of the unit’s information technology network on Feb. 21, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. 

As a result, the company isolated and disconnected the impacted systems “immediately upon detection” of the threat, the filing said.

The fallout has caused a ripple of disruption across the U.S. health-care system. 

Doctors told CNBC the outage has left them unable to check patients’ eligibility for treatment or fill prescriptions electronically, which has created more administrative responsibility for workers that are already overwhelmed by clerical work. Perhaps more importantly, providers have been unable to receive reimbursements from insurers, effectively grinding many health systems’ revenue cycles to a halt. 


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