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CMS And Optum to Provide Accelerated Payment Loans and CMS Urges Medicaid Managed Care Plans and Medicare Advantage Plans to Offer Similar Loans

As reported last week, there was a cyberattack on UnitedHealth Group’s subsidiary Change Healthcare. Change Healthcare started experiencing major problems Feb. 21 cutting providers off from payer reimbursements.

Due to lobbying from various groups including ASIPP, temporary loans for all providers including physicians have been arranged. If you recall, this was limited to only hospitals in the beginning.

On Saturday March 9, 2024, CMS issued the attached statement announcing that in addition to considering application for accelerated payments for Medicare Part A providers, application for advanced payments for Part B suppliers will also be considered.

CMS issued a Fact Sheet with additional detail on eligibility requirements, certification terms, and payment amounts.

All MACs will provide public information on how to submit a request for a Medicare accelerated or advanced payment on their website starting March 9, 2024.

CMS is also urging Medicaid Managed Care Plans and Medicare Advantage Plans to offer similar emergency payment loans to cope with Change Healthcare cyberattack.

In addition to the CMS program of accelerated payments, United Health Groups loan program administered through Optum Financial Services offers financial assistance to providers whose payer payment are processed through Changes EDI. The loan amount is based on average prior claims volume and how much the provider’s payment distributions have been affected. No interest or fees will be charged, but the funds must be repaid.

Overall, while this may help physicians who were excluded in the beginning, it may not be sufficient. Many practices are seeing that a mere fraction of the daily deposits are being given in the form of loans.

If you have any questions, contact your MAC, as well as Optum, your representative for United Health Group or Optum for assistance.

MORE ON Chane Healthcare Cyberattack can be found on the following websites:
MedScape  – AMA  – HHSTechTarget – CMS

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