Change aims to mitigate hospital cash flow issues due to cyberattack

UnitedHealth Group plans to work with hospitals to mitigate any cash flow issues stemming from the Feb. 21 cyberattack against Change Healthcare, according to a statement provided to Becker's.

The company disconnected Change Healthcare's systems after identifying the attack so customers wouldn't have to disconnect, and is now working to "restore the impacted environment" and bring systems back online without additional risk, according to a Feb. 27 update from Optum.

UnitedHealth Group told Becker's the company is working with providers and pharmacists to find effective workarounds so they can still provide care to patients while systems are being restored. The most impacted providers are the ones that disconnected from Change Healthcare systems and/or haven't implemented workarounds, according to United.

The company is also looking ahead to make sure hospitals and health systems aren't affected by claims processing delays from the attack.

"We understand the impact this issue has had on claims for payers and providers. Any delays to claims processing have yet to impact provider cash flows as payers typically pay one to two weeks after processing," stated UnitedHealth. "As we work on bringing systems back online, we are also developing solutions to that challenge if needed. Hospitals, health systems and providers have connections to multiple clearinghouses and access manual workarounds."

A Feb. 21 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission said the company suspects the cyber threat actor is associated with a nation-state and successfully accessed Change's IT systems.

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