Hospitals still affected by Change hack, AHA says

Hospitals continue to experience "financial and operational impacts" from the Change Healthcare hack more than two months after the cyberattack on the UnitedHealth Group subsidiary, the American Hospital Association said.

While much of Change's claims and payment processing functions have been restored, hospitals and health systems still need to work through a backlog of claims and reprocess denials, the AHA wrote April 29 to two U.S. senators ahead of a May 1 hearing with UnitedHealth Group.

Change, which processes 15 billion healthcare transactions per year, took dozens of its claims processing systems offline following the Feb. 21 ransomware attack, throwing large swaths of the healthcare industry into upheaval. While the company said it has reinstated much of its network, the AHA noted health systems face denials from payers because of the delay in submitting claims and an inability to obtain prior authorizations during the outage.

"Two months in, many hospitals are still not back to full operations," the AHA wrote.

Six in 10 hospitals expect it will take two weeks to three months to completely recover once Change Healthcare revives its systems, according to a March AHA survey.

The AHA urged Congress and the Biden administration to continue oversight of the cyberattack's aftermath in the weeks and months to come.

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