Healthcare Hack Creates Billing Nightmare for Doctors and Patients

Healthcare Hack Creates Billing Nightmare for Doctors and Patients

Over a week after a major cyberattack hit an insurance claims processor, the fallout continues to upend medical practices and disrupt billing for countless healthcare providers nationwide.

Psychotherapists and Doctors Stuck in Limbo

Raeya Disney, a psychotherapist in Maryland, worries she may lose her office space if the billing outage persists much longer. “I’ve begun manually billing and I’m praying that I will be paid,” she told CNN. Purvi Parikh, an allergist in New York, says she hasn’t been able to submit any insurance claims for a week due to the hack.

The cyberattack struck Change Healthcare, a tech giant that processes insurance claims and prescriptions for pharmacies across the country. With their systems down, many providers have hit roadblocks getting paid by insurers.

Revenue Losses Mounting for Healthcare Industry

Cybersecurity experts estimate some healthcare organizations are losing over $100 million per day from the outage’s disruption. “That’s just not sustainable in an industry with not a lot of cash on hand,” said Carter Groome of First Health Advisory.

Change Healthcare says claims submissions have returned to normal levels as providers find “workarounds.” But many like Disney and Parikh say they are still struggling.

Amy Cizik in Utah had to run around for days getting insurance to cover her daughter’s medication for a rare genetic disorder. “This is just adding to that” extra burden of caring for a chronically ill child, she told CNN.

Ransomware Gang Suspected in Damaging Attack

US officials believe the prolific Russian-linked ransomware gang ALPHV, also called BlackCat, was responsible for the damaging attack on Change Healthcare’s systems. The group has carried out a wave of recent attacks on US universities, hospitals and more.

Despite law enforcement efforts to crack down on ALPHV, the cyber criminals continue to wreak havoc. As authorities investigate, healthcare providers remain stuck in billing limbo – struggling to get paid as the outage drags on.

Aklimson Phangcho

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