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CMS Administration Roundtable Discusses Ongoing Change Healthcare Cyberattack

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CMS says to stay tuned for guidelines that will allow states to better support their Medicare providers.

The fallout from the Change Healthcare attack is ongoing and, in the CMS’s latest effort to address it, administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure participated yesterday in a roundtable where the CMS urged health insurers to do more to support the affected suppliers and providers.

Change Healthcare, a UnitedHealth company that provides claims processing, is still dealing with the effects of ransomware attack on its systems. Change was hacked on Feb. 21, 2024, which created huge disruption to pharmacy services, including electronic prescribing, claim submission and payment transmission. UnitedHealth said in a statement its payment platforms would be functional beginning March 15 and its medical claims system would begin testing on March 18, with service restored that week.

Leaders from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and White House Domestic Policy Advisor Neera Tanden, White House Deputy National Security Advisor (DNSA) for Cyber and Emerging Technologies Anne Neuberger, met with healthcare leaders from UnitedHealth, insurance companies and other to attack the impact of the attack.

CMS officials also announced that there is upcoming support for states in the form of guidelines, specifically for fee-for-service delivery systems.

This meeting is a follow-up to the Mar. 9 announcement of the terms of their new payment program for hospitals, health systems and physicians affected by the recent Change Healthcare cyberattack.

The length of the accelerated and advanced payment programs for Part A providers and Part B suppliers called the Change Healthcare/Optum Payment Disruption (CHOPD), will be determined by the time it takes to resolve the cyberattack.

Eligibility requirements include but are not limited to:

  • The provider/supplier has experienced a disruption in claims payment or submission due to a business relationship the provider/supplier, or the provider’s/supplier’s third-party payers, has with Change Healthcare or another entity that uses Change Healthcare or requires the provider/supplier to use Change Healthcare.
  • The provider/supplier is not able to submit claims to receive claims payments from Medicare.
  • The provider/supplier does not have any delinquent Medicare debts.

Providers and suppliers can make requests for accelerated and advanced program amounts of up to 100% of the 30-day payment amount.

Recoupment will begin immediately at 100% of the rate and repayment is required within 90 days after the date the AAP is issued. There is a 30-day grace period and then interest will begin to accrue at a rate of 12.37%.

“CMS continues to look for ways to further support the provider and supplier community during this difficult situation,” a press release reads. “All affected providers and suppliers should reach out to health plans and other payers for assistance with the disruption.”

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