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Press Release

ICYMI: Dr. Bera and Dr. Bucshon Send Letter to Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Regarding Cyberattack on Change Healthcare

Representatives Ami Bera, M.D. (D-CA-06) and Larry Bucshon, M.D. (R-IN-08) penned a letter to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra on March 6, 2024, regarding the recent cyberattack on Change Healthcare. The substance of their request—that the agency work to protect all types of providers affected by the cyberattack, with a particular focus on independent physician practices—was granted by HHS in a statement on Saturday, March 9.

The full text of the letter may be found here and below:

Dear Secretary Becerra: 

We urge the Department to promptly expand on its recently announced assistance to hospitals dated March 5, 2024. We implore the Department to utilize all available authorities to ensure timely payment across all types of providers and all sectors of Medicare (Parts A, B, and C), Medicaid, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). This will allow for all components of the health care system to remain open, fully operational, and accessible to patients.

We underscore that we are not seeking additional taxpayer funds, nor are we requesting advance payments for services. Rather, we urge the Department to utilize its existing authorities to ensure the continued flow of funds rightfully owed for services rendered under traditional Medicare, Medicare Advantage, and Medicaid. Hospitals are not the only providers experiencing severe cash flow disruptions as a result of this cybersecurity attack. Independent physician practices anticipate payments from Part B and Medicare Advantage plans in the same way that hospitals anticipate payments from Part A. These payment delays can lead to significant consequences, such as smaller practices potentially closing and larger ones struggling to meet payroll.

Finally, we ask that the Department continue conversations with United Health Group, Optum, and Change Healthcare about providing financial and other assistance to affected health care organizations. We have been informed by providers that the assistance provided by these entities to date has been insufficient and does not adequately compensate them for suspended and delayed payments from commercial insurers.

We appreciate your prompt attention to this matter during this crisis.