UnitedHealth details Change attack recovery timeline: 5 updates for payers

UnitedHealth Group detailed a timeline March 7 for restoring key Change Healthcare systems following the unprecedented cyberattack on the company in late February. 

Payers have reported significant reductions in the volume of claims they receive from providers following the attack, which has also significantly complicated operations for hospitals, physician practices and pharmacies. 

"We are committed to providing relief for people affected by this malicious attack on the U.S. health system," UnitedHealth CEO Andrew Witty said. "All of us at UnitedHealth Group feel a deep sense of responsibility for recovery and are working tirelessly to ensure that providers can care for their patients and run their practices, and that patients can get their medications. We're determined to make this right as fast as possible."

Five key updates for payers:

1. Until March 31, Medicare Advantage and D-SNP prior authorizations are suspended for outpatient services, except for durable medical equipment, cosmetic procedures and Part B step therapies. Utilization review for MA inpatient admissions and drug formulary exception review processes for Part D pharmacy benefits have also been temporarily suspended. UnitedHealth will also work with state's on any needed Medicaid actions.

2. While systems remain offline, payers should use applicable workarounds, specifically the new iEDI claim submission system.

3. Electronic prescribing for pharmacy services is back online, including claim submission and payment transmission.

4. Electronic payments will be available starting March 15, and Change's claims network and software will begin coming back online March 18.

5. UnitedHealth is urging all payers to offer temporary funding to providers to help with short-term cash flow needs.

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