Change Healthcare

Cyber Incident Response

Resources to support Aledade practices, clinics and partners in the aftermath of the Change Health care cyber attack. This content is updated regularly as new information becomes available.

Practice Update Friday March 15, 2024

CMS recently published a broad list of frequently asked questions to address the CHOPD Accelerated and Advance payments.  Among many key points of clarification, one was that practices, who are submitting paper claims to help alleviate the disruption in electronic claims submissions, are still eligible for a CHOPD accelerated or advance payment. Visit their website for the full list of FAQs

Practice Update Thursday March 14, 2024

We recently held a practice webinar to share additional information about the CMS CHOPD Accelerated advance and payments and Aledade's One Time Accelerated Payment program.  If you were unable to attend, you can access the webinar recording here. Please note you will need to register using the form on the right to access the recording.

Practice Update Tuesday March 12, 2024

Payer Specific Resources

The websites provided below are key resources for the most recent Payer-specific news, updates, and information, including impacts arising from the Change Healthcare incident.

Practice Update Monday March 11th, 2024

Dive into the impacts of the Change Healthcare cyber attack with analysis in our latest episode of the ACO Show featuring Farzad Mostashri, CEO of Aledade, and a firsthand account by Dr. Christine Meyer. From the initial system shocks to the unforeseen challenges faced by healthcare practitioners, discover the resilience amidst adversity and innovative solutions bringing relief to medical practices.

FAQs on Change Healthcare Incident

Upcoming Webinar:

Join our upcoming webinar on Wednesday March 13th at 3pm EST for an update on the Change Healthcare Cyber Incident, including the latest on CMS Change Healthcare/Optum Payment Disruption (CHOPD) accelerated and advance payments and Aledade’s One-Time Accelerated Payment program. We'll also cover the impact on clearinghouses and payers stemming from this incident, ensuring you're informed and prepared. Don't miss this session designed to address questions related to these developments. Register to attend here

Health and Human Services Letter to Health Care Leaders on Cyberattack on Change Healthcare
On Sunday March 10, 2024 Health and Human Services published a letter to health care leaders on Cyberattack on Change Healthcare. 

Key highlights of the letter include:

  • Urging UnitedHealth Group to expedite payments and improve communication with healthcare providers.
  • Calling on insurance companies to make interim payments and ease administrative burdens.
  • Encouraging clearinghouses and other healthcare entities to support providers in overcoming the challenges posed by the cyberattack.
  • Outlining actions by CMS to facilitate continuity of care, such as streamlining processes for changing clearinghouses and relaxing prior authorization requirements.
  • Highlighting the importance of adopting cybersecurity best practices to prevent future attacks.

Practice Update Saturday March 9th, 2024

CMS announced extended financial relief to medical practices impacted by the Change Healthcare cyber attack, now offering accelerated payments to Part A providers and advance payments to Part B suppliers experiencing claims disruptions.  Payments must be requested for individual providers using unique National Provider Identifier (NPI) and Medicare ID (PTAN)combinations.  Contact your MAC as soon as possible to request assistance. Here is a CMS list of MACs if needed.

Practice Update Friday March 8th, 2024

UnitedHealth Group published an update addressing the impacts of a significant cyberattack on the U.S. health system, particularly targeting the Change Healthcare claims and payment infrastructure. The company's efforts are focused on restoring services and providing relief to affected consumers and care providers.

Key Actions and Developments:

  • Restoration Timelines: Electronic payment functionality is expected to be available for connection beginning March 15. Connectivity to claims network and software is anticipated to begin testing and reestablishment on March 18, with service restoration through that week.
  • Funding Support for Providers: UHG will continue to offer the Temporary Funding Assistance Program through Optum to advance funds to medical, dental, and vision providers to cover the gap between historical payment levels, with no immediate repayment required until claims processing fully resumes.
  • Patient Support Measures: UHG has taken steps to ensure patient access to medications and care, including suspending prior authorizations for most outpatient services for Medicare Advantage plans and drug formulary exception review processes for Medicare Part D, effective until March 31.
  • Prescription Support: UHG has restored pharmacy claims and payment systems, ensuring patients' access to medications. Optum Rx pharmacies have been proactive in sending medications to members based on their needs, and the company has pledged to reimburse pharmacies for all appropriate claims filled with the understanding that the medications would be covered.
  • Financial Considerations: UHG plans to exclude the principal impacts of the cyberattack from its adjusted earnings calculations.

Practice Update Thursday March 7, 2024

Aledade Cyber Response Webinar Recording
We recently held a practice webinar to share additional information about the Aledade Accelerate program and address practice questions or concerns about the Change Healthcare incident. If you were unable to attend, you can access the webinar recording. 

Webinar: Change Healthcare Incident

Practice Update Wednesday March 6, 2024

Policy Measures to Support Healthcare Providers:

  • Aledade is working closely with the AAFP, AMGA, and APG to secure help for independent practices.
  • We have met with senior officials at CMS and HHS and will soon meet with WH staff.
  • Our coalition is also securing letters of support from key members of Congress
  • CMS has implemented Accelerated Payments, but for part A providers only
  • CMS has instructed MACs to shorten the timeline for changing MACs to no more than 4 days
  • CMS has urged MA plans to work with affected practices

Health and Human Services Response to Change Healthcare Cyberattack

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is actively addressing the cybersecurity incident  that affected Change Healthcare. Recognizing the attack's significant impact on healthcare operations nationwide, HHS is prioritizing minimizing disruptions and maintaining continuity of care.

HHS is coordinating with UnitedHealth Group, state partners, and federal agencies, including the FBI and CISA, to mitigate the impact and ensure continuous healthcare service. Regular updates and guidance are being provided in collaboration with various stakeholders to understand and address the situation effectively.

Change Healthcare Temporary Funding Assistance Program Review

We've heard the collective concerns from our practices about the terms associated with the Change Healthcare / Optum Temporary Funding Assistance Program. Our legal team has had the opportunity to review the terms and we want to provide all of our practices with the benefit of their observations. Click here to read our review. 

Practice Update Tuesday March 5, 2024

Aledade Accelerate Financial Assistance Program

Aledade is taking action to support its network of primary care practices nationwide in the wake of this ongoing ransomware attack, which has rendered unavailable the payment and infrastructure systems that independent doctors use to pay for vital expenses. Click here to learn more about the Aledade Accelerate program. 

Aledade is:

  • Advocating the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to re-launch the Medicare Accelerated Payment program, through which the agency can pre-pay three months of claims based on the historical spending of these practices. Just as important, CMS can continue to pay in full any claims a practice submits until the Change Healthcare attack is resolved.
  • Providing resources for primary care providers to quickly locate alternative clearinghouse options compatible with their electronic health record systems.
  • Exploring ways to augment Optum support through an additional limited financial support program for Aledade partner practices

Aledade will continue to keep your practice informed about available support options. We ask you to  communicate any practice concerns or needs as we navigate these challenges together. 

EHR Guidance for Practices

Please refer to this EHR Guidance document for latest information on impact from the Change Healthcare incident. We've compiled this resource for informational purposes based on insights from our practices, conversations with EHR vendors, and other publicly available information. We can’t guarantee its accuracy given this ever-changing situation, so please confirm with your vendor before taking any action. 

Upcoming Change Healthcare Cyber Response Webinar 

We will be holding a webinar on Thursday, March 7 at 3 pm ET to share additional information about the Aledade Accelerate program and address practice questions or concerns about the Change Healthcare incident. Register to attend here.

Practice Update Monday March 4, 2024 

The ongoing disruption from the Change Healthcare cyber incident continues to impact patient care and practice operations significantly, affecting prior authorizations, pharmacy operations, and the overall flow of claims and payments. 

Recognizing the urgency of the situation, Optum has a Temporary Funding Assistance Program
which provides some cash flow. We are not sure to what extent these funds will meet practice shortfalls. We encourage affected practices to submit the application on that site to receive an estimate of weekly payments from Optum. Please read the terms of this program carefully to make sure they are acceptable to you.

Funding Assistance Program Summary:

  • Limited to covering payments specifically from UnitedHealth/Optum, not all claims and payments that would typically be processed through Change Healthcare's infrastructure.
  • Terms require loan repayment within five days, allow for immediate fund recoupment without notice, and impose broad waivers of liability along with stringent damage limitations.
  • Variability in assistance levels among providers, influenced by their billing and claim patterns with UnitedHealth/Optum.

On March 4, AHA
sent a letter to Congress, urging for actions to support hospitals in their patient care efforts as they deal with the ramifications of an ongoing cyberattack affecting the entire health care system. They sent a letter to UnitedHealth Group on the same day, expressing concerns regarding the Temporary Funding Assistance Program that the company announced on March 1.

Practice Update March 1, 2024 

On February 21, a cybersecurity incident occurred at Change Healthcare, a subsidiary of Optum, involving a cyberattack that led to the unavailability of its Medical Network and Medical Network API systems. Change Healthcare has not yet provided an expected resolution time or date. We wanted to provide you with an update on the situation as we understand it, and how we understand it impacts the healthcare industry and potentially your practice.

Practice Impact

Revenue Cycle Disruptions

The inability for practices to submit claims for any extended period of time will create cash flow challenges. Practices who utilize Change Healthcare as their primary method of submitting claims to payers are most impacted as no claims can be submitted to the payer, nor can any remittances be received.


Payers using Change Healthcare for data exchange are also affected, leading to delays in claims processing, including UHC, among approximately 400 others. Payers are in the process of transitioning to different exchange partners; however, the timeline for resolution remains uncertain. Meanwhile, it's probable that claims submitted during the incident will encounter errors or stay pending in the submission queue.

Workflow Disruptions

The inability to perform any combination of eligibility checks, process remittances, ePrescribing, or send/receive lab results may necessitate time consuming workarounds that are likely to slow day to day clinic operations.

Data Disruptions

We are not aware of any impact to Aledade and Aledade data, but are continuing to monitor the situation. Practices will not have the most recent claims data available in the Aledade App to refresh worklists or update diagnosis suggestions. For practices unable to submit claims, Aledade will also not be able to receive that claims data to refresh data in the Aledade App.  This will result in some worklists and diagnosis suggestions not resolving automatically (For example, a patient with an AWV completed during this outage may remain on the Wellness Worklist or a diagnosis suggestion documented in a visit during this outage would continue showing as a suggestion). 

Potential Paths Forward

EHR/PM vendors, including Athena, eClinicalWorks, and Veradigm, have activated and continue to enable alternative pathways for submitting claims to payers, potentially allowing for a seamless continuation of exchanges with many Payers. 

Additionally, practices have the option to switch clearinghouses, with some EHR vendors offering expedited paths for implementation. 

Another available choice for practices is to manually submit claims and download remittances through Payer Portals. Alternatively, practices may choose to wait for the restoration of Change Healthcare services.

We understand Optum is offering financial for impacted practices. For more information on this program visit the Optum Resource page here.