Change Healthcare To Start Processing $14B Claims Backlog As It Restores Clearinghouse Platforms

In its latest update on the response to the cyberattack on Change Healthcare, UnitedHealth Group said on Friday that its largest clearinghouse, called Relay Exchange, will be back online by the end of the weekend and the company will begin processing $14 billion in medical claims.

UnitedHealth Group also posted an estimated timeline for restoring its systems from the February 21 cyberattack.

The ransomware attack led to widespread reimbursement and pharmacy disruptions for hospitals, health systems and medical practices. The company says it has advanced $2.5 billion to affected providers.

The company said the target dates are projections based on available information and may change as it learns more. “Products will go through a phased reconnection process, including launch, testing and scaled reconnection. If a product is not listed in this schedule, that does not mean that product is more than three weeks away. It means that we do not yet have line of sight to the week that we expect it to be restored and will provide updated information as those timelines become clear,” the company said its update posted online.

On March 7, UnitedHealth restored 99% of Change Healthcare’s pharmacy network services.

A week later, on March 15, Change Healthcare’s electronic payments platform was restored and is now proceeding with payer implementations, the company said.

Assurance, the company’s medical claims preparation software, went back online on March 18. “Providers continue with the testing and re-connection phases and have begun working through their respective backlogs of claim files,” the company said.

As of March 22, claims with more than $14 billion in charges have been staged for processing through the Assurance software.

“We expect Relay Exchange, our largest clearinghouse, to be back online on the weekend of March 23, along with appropriate third-party documentation,” the company said in its update.

This coming week, UnitedHealth plans to restore Change Healthcare’s eligibility processing capabilities along with benefits verification and authorization determination​ services, pharmacy electronic claims for medical​ through MedRx and its reimbursement manager.

“Once a critical mass of payer connectivity has been established, we will turn on claims processing for Assurance customers. That process will occur automatically for those Assurance customers when we trigger restart,” UnitedHealth said in its update. “Following activation of Assurance software customers, we will turn our attention to the reactivation of all other Relay Exchange claims submitters. Throughout the reactivation of these provider customer groups, we will continue to add additional payer connectivity to close any remaining gaps. We will start immediately with establishing payer connectivity so claims entering the clearinghouse have a destination.”

The company is targeting the week of April 1 to restore its clinical exchange service, payer connectivity and hosted payer services.

The following week, April 8, the company plans to restore its Risk Manager and Health QX products.


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