CMS to provide CHOPD accelerated payments following Change Healthcare cyber incident

A ransomware attack on February 21 on Change Healthcare is causing significant impacts to prior authorizations, bill pay, and patient prescriptions for providers across the country. The American Hospital Association has reported that the attack has impacted the cash flow of more than 80% of hospitals, and it has been estimated that the financial impact to providers is over $100 million daily.  To help lessen the financial strain of the attack for Medicare Administrative Contractors, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is making Change Healthcare/Optum Payment Disruption (CHOPD) accelerated and advance payments. 

The announcement states: “On March 9, 2024, CMS made available Change Healthcare/Optum Payment Disruption (CHOPD) accelerated payments to Part A providers and advance payments to Part B suppliers experiencing claims disruptions as a result of the Incident. The CHOPD accelerated and advance payments may be granted in amounts representative of up to thirty days (30) of claims payments to eligible providers and suppliers. The average 30-day payment is based on the total claims paid to the provider/supplier between August 1, 2023, and October 31, 2023, divided by three. These payments will be repaid through automatic recoupment from Medicare claims for a period of 90 days. A demand will be issued for any remaining balance on day 91 following the issuance of the accelerated or advance payment.” 

Where can I find more information?

CMS released a fact sheet on March 13, addressing many frequently asked questions from providers. The American Medical Association has also created a resource page that they are updating as the situation evolves. 

If your practice is affected, or you have questions or concerns, please contact Denis Houle, advisory principal and lead for BNN’s healthcare reimbursement services.