CMS responds to Change Healthcare cyberattack

Wednesday, March 13, 2024

CMS released a statement and detailed its plan of action following the recent cyberattack on UnitedHealth Group’s subsidiary Change Healthcare.

CMS recognizes that the cyberattack may cause significant cash flow problems for providers and suppliers, preventing facilities from submitting claims and receiving Medicare payment when using the Change Healthcare platform, according to a recent fact sheet. In response, CMS has made available Change Healthcare/Optum Payment Disruption (CHOPD) accelerated payments to Part A providers and advance payments to Part B suppliers experiencing claims disruptions.

Accelerated and advance CHOPD payments may be granted in amounts representative of up to 30 days of claims payments, according to the fact sheet. The average 30-day payment is based on the total claims paid to the provider or supplier between August 1 and October 31, 2023, divided by three.

CHOPD payments will be repaid through automatic recoupment from Medicare claims for a period of 90 days, according to the fact sheet. A demand will be issued for any remaining balance on day 91 following the issuance of the payment.

Medicare Administrative Contractors (MAC) will provide public information on how to submit a request for an accelerated or advance CHOPD payment on their website, said CMS in a press release. The agency also directed MACs to expedite actions needed for providers and suppliers to change their clearinghouse and accept paper claims.

Organizations experiencing claims disruptions as a result of the cyberattack should review CMS’ fact sheet to determine if they are eligible for accelerated or advance CHOPD payments.

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