HomeLatest NewsFederal NewsCMS Announces Flexibilities in Response to Change Healthcare Attack

CMS Announces Flexibilities in Response to Change Healthcare Attack

The American Hospital Association (AHA) shared that the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) have announced new measures to help healthcare providers continue to offer services amidst the cyberattack on Change Healthcare. These measures include fast-tracked claims processing, guidance for Medicare Advantage and Part D programs to ease prior authorization, utilization management, and filing requirements, and waivers or extensions available through Medicare Administrative Contractors, in addition to paper claim submissions. CMS is also urging Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program agencies to offer the same flexibilities during the Change Healthcare system outages.

In response to the cyberattack’s impact, AHA President and CEO Rick Pollack has issued a statement to the media, calling it the most significant and consequential incident of its kind against the US healthcare system in history. Hospitals have struggled to provide patient care, fill prescriptions, submit insurance claims, and receive payment for essential healthcare services in the past two weeks. The AHA has requested Congress to work on meaningful solutions to preserve 24/7 access to care, and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has urged CMS to immediately make Accelerated and Advanced Payments available to affected hospitals, pharmacies, and providers. He also urged federal law enforcement agencies to hold the perpetrators accountable for the attack.

“As a consequence of the termination of Change Healthcare’s systems, hospitals, pharmacies, and healthcare providers are facing an immediate — and rapidly intensifying — adverse impact on their cash flow and, ultimately, on their financial solvency,” he wrote. “While Change Healthcare remains offline, impacted healthcare institutions and providers will remain hamstrung and are unable to complete the necessary tasks to deliver care. Patients are unable to receive the eligibility checks needed to determine if their insurance will cover a prescribed treatment, or even get their needed medications filled at the local pharmacy. Hospitals are struggling to process claims, bill patients, and receive electronic payments, leaving them financially vulnerable with no anticipated timeline for resolution. Many hospitals are approaching a financial cliff where they will no longer be able to rely on their cash on hand. … The longer this disruption persists, the more difficult it will be for hospitals to continue to provide comprehensive healthcare services to patients.” Click here to read the full article.

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