LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) – A Las Vegas pediatric clinic voices concerns about future tough cuts for its pediatric patients if the effects of a national cyber hack are not resolved soon.

The impact of the Change Healthcare hack has lingered for weeks and is being described as the “most significant and consequential” in American history, according to the American Hospital Association.

This week, a second cyber criminal group boasted it breached the information system again, though the company would not confirm the existence of a second hack. “We are aware of the claims by Ransom Hub and continue to work with authorities,” a Change Healthcare statement said via email.

Small clinics like Pediatric Gastroenterology & Nutrition Associates face an uncertain future as they manage the continuous impact of the hack. Providers see about 1,300 patients a month, often with chronic and debilitating illnesses. The team also meets the daily need of hundreds of students at CCSD schools that utilize feeding tubes.

For months, numerous Medicaid claims from the clinic remain “pending” or unpaid, impacting the cash flow to pay the bills and various employees.

“In the last four weeks or so, we’re down about 40% in collections from what we would expect to be,” said Dr. Howard Baron. “A 40% decrease means that after a while, we’re going to have some trouble making rent, making payroll,” he said.

“We’re expecting that we may have to start making adjustments in terms of what patients we see. We don’t want to be in the position of having to make decisions about who to see and who not to see based upon financial concerns, but we don’t do anybody any good if our doors are closed and our lights are out,” Dr. Baron said.

FOX5 has also been following the impact on local home health care workers’ missing paychecks and the impact on staffing agencies.

Change Healthcare has announced the strides made in system restoration: a calendar outlines the timeframe that certain products and functions will be fully restored. Numerous products still need to go back online, and its unclear which outages are directly impacting the claims to Pediatric Gastroenterology & Nutrition Associates.

“Hopefully, we’ll see the results of that in the next few weeks. But hope doesn’t pay the bills,” Dr. Baron said.

Change Healthcare said it has offered $4.7 billion to providers through its Temporary Assistance Program, offering zero-interest loans to aid with cash flow issues. Payments are not due until after the cyber breach is resolved, which could take months.


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