March 4, 2024

In This Communication:

Change Healthcare Hack;

Medicare Pay Cuts

Change Healthcare Enables New Prescribing Service and Launches Temporary Funding Assistance Support Program Amid Cyber-Attack

On Wednesday, February 21, Change Healthcare began experiencing a cyber security issue and isolated its systems to prevent further impact. Optum, UnitedHealthcare, and UnitedHealth Group (UHG) systems were not affected by the issue, according to information provided by UHG. UHG has indicated they have taken appropriate action to contain the incident so that customers and partners do not need to sever network connections and disrupt vital services. As part of your risk evaluation, health care organizations should consider the impacts of severing connectivity to Optum, which includes but is not limited to loss of prior procedure authorizations, electronic prescribing and other patient care functions. Ultimately, your organization should make its own determination on whether or not to block Optum specifically while considering all the risks and consequences of doing so. Change Healthcare is posting updates on the status of the cyber-attack.

While the Change Healthcare cyber-attack continues to place financial pressure on practices as crucial reimbursement systems remain down, Change Healthcare has enabled a new instance of its ePrescribing service. Change Healthcare has completed testing with vendors and multiple retail pharmacy partners for transaction types that were impacted. Change Healthcare, however, made a second update to add that its Clinical Exchange ePrescribing providers' tools are still not operational. The ePrescribing service is for pharmacies that helps reduce manual prescription writing and other workarounds, while the Clinical Exchange ePrescribing is for health care professionals.


United Health Group (UHG) has created a website to provide updates on the cyber-attack. The website and the information it contains is provided by UHG. Information on the Change Healthcare Cyber Response.

For organizations impacted by the payer system outage, Optum has established a temporary funding assistance support program to help with short-term cash flow needs. You can now choose to receive short-term temporary funding assistance from them. Once standard payment operations resume, the funds will need to be repaid. Optum has been able to estimate your average weekly payments, which will be the basis for the support. Their plan is to take this week by week with people re-upping for funding each week as needs persist. For clarity, this is not a program for health care professionals who have had claims submission disruptions, but rather for those whose payment distribution has been impacted. To determine eligibility and funding amount, you must register for the program. An Optum Pay account is required to complete registration and to receive funds and repay funds. Use your existing Optum Pay account or sign-up for Optum Pay to log-in. Please refer to the link below that takes you to the Optum website and outlines all of the FAQs.

Information on the Optum Temporary Funding Assistance Support Program:

Some of this information was made available through the

American Medical Association.

Senate Letter: Cancel the Medicare Cut

Thank Sen. Coons for Signing On; Contact Sen. Carper

On February 23rd Senators John Boozman (R-AR) and Peter Welch (D-VT) along with 30 bipartisan cosigners sent a letter to Senate leaders calling for a legislative solution to protect access to Medicare services by canceling the 3.37% cut to physician Medicare payments that went into effect on January 1. Delaware's U.S. Senator Chris Coons signed the letter (click link for full list), and the American Medical Association (AMA) encourages Delaware physicians to reach out to Sen. Coons' office on social media, email or phone via the Senate switchboard to thank him for his support and to remind him that the job is not done. As of publication, Senator Carper has not signed on to the letter and it is important to contact him and let him know how damaging these cuts are to physicians and patients in Delaware.


Time is of the essence—Congress is expected to take up the 2024 appropriation funding bills, and we must ensure that full relief from the devastating 3.37% cut is included in this package. Behind the scenes negotiations are ongoing and it’s imperative that Delaware Senators are engaged in fixing the problem. For additional resources please visit for more information. 


This information was made available by the

American Medical Association Federation Relations Office.

The information contained herein is solely informational, planned in accordance for a diverse membership audience. This communication reflects news and announcements that have been made available to MSD and is not intended to exclude other pertinent material. The content published is proposed to represent facts of interest and provide awareness to the members. MSD reserves the right to determine what information is relevant to its membership.

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