US Health Care Recovering from Cyberattack, But Small Clinics Struggle

The US health care system is slowly recovering after a major cyberattack on Change Healthcare, a key player in insurance billing. While 95% of claims are now being processed, smaller clinics, especially in rural areas, still face financial strain.

The February 21st attack forced Change Healthcare offline, disrupting electronic payments and claims processing. Officials are concerned about potential disruptions to patient care due to cash flow issues.

“We’re working to ensure continued access to care,” a senior official stated. “Maintaining liquidity in the system is crucial.”

Small clinics, particularly those serving rural communities, are reportedly struggling the most. Some clinics haven’t received crucial financial assistance, raising concerns about their ability to stay open.

The attack, deemed the most significant in US healthcare history by the American Hospital Association (AHA), impacted millions. Change Healthcare processes a third of all US patient records.

While progress is being made, the full financial impact remains unclear. The AHA estimates “billions of dollars” stopped flowing to healthcare providers due to the attack.

Patients have faced difficulties getting prescriptions filled, and some doctors worried about clinic closures due to financial strain.

The White House and HHS are urging healthcare firms to provide clear information on available financial resources for struggling providers.

The focus isn’t just on recovery. HHS has launched an investigation into whether Change Healthcare complied with patient data protection laws.

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