Rome Health is still struggling with the Change Healthcare cyber attack that targeted insurance payments, rendering them unable to process thousands of claims.

Unprocessed Claims Reaching $14 Million

Photo Credit - Andrew Burton/Getty Images
Photo Credit - Andrew Burton/Getty Images

Last week, cyber attackers targeted Change Healthcare, one of America's largest healthcare companies and unit of UnitedHealth Group. The ransomware hack knocked out its ability to process insurance payments from its affiliated hospitals and pharmacies. It's considered one of the biggest cyber attacks in years.

Rome Health was one of those affected hospitals and representatives say they are unable to process thousands of insurance claims totaling close to $14 million. That number will only go up the longer this problem persists.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer was in Rome to petition the United States government to step in and take action. Among his demands was calling upon the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid to provide advance payments to all affected hospitals until the breach is fixed.

"CMS has the ability to tell Rome Health, OK, you're out $5 million. We're going to advance it to you. It's not a loan. It's an advance payment," said Schumer. "And when we straighten out this system and Change is able to reimburse Rome Health, they'll get paid back."

Schumer noted the cyber attack has also affected pharmacies, which he warns are "in even worse shape" than the hospitals.

Said Schumer, "[The] pharmacist who's not getting reimbursed for the prescriptions is going to tell the customer who comes in I can't give you the medicine because I won’t get reimbursed."

He noted that the longer the issue remains unresolved, the greater the risk is to the overall health of Americans.

Calling upon the FBI

Department Of Homeland Security Holds National Cybersecurity Summit In NYC
Photo Credit - Kevin Hagen / Getty Images

One of the parties behind the Change Healthcare cyber attack have been identified as AlphV or BlackCat, a Russian-speaking operation. Wired reports the hackers recently received $22 million in Bitcoin. It suggests Change Healthcare paid the ransom.

The origins of the attack are still under investigation and Schumer petitioned the Federal Bureau of Investigations and other federal law enforcement offices to elevate the cyber attack as a top priority.

Schumer also penned a letter to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services thanking them for assisting affected health care providers.

"This is an encouraging step, but the work cannot stop until all affected providers have sufficient financial stability to weather this storm and continue serving their patients," he wrote.

Work is also being done to ensure a hack of this magnitude doesn't happen again, as cyber analysts say the attack was preventable.

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