LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) – A massive cyber hack on a healthcare processing system is causing problems for patients, different providers, hospitals and some pharmacies across Nevada, leading to issues verifying insurance or delays in medication and appointments.

United Health Group’s Change Healthcare announced the attack happened on February 21, and providing real-time updates on its website on progress to fix issues. The system acts as a bridge between insurance companies and providers, assisting with billing, payments and insurance verification.

The Department of Health and Human Services announced efforts to help providers and patients access care in the wake of the attack.

The Nevada Hospital Association reported the following issues throughout Nevada hospitals to FOX5:

Change Healthcare has a national scope affecting hospitals all over the country including Nevada. Change Healthcare offers significant, critical services to healthcare providers such as pharmacies, clinical authorizations, revenue cycles, and more. The degree to which hospitals are affected varies by hospital. In Nevada, we have heard reports of the following:

  • Inability to verify health insurance coverage for patients
  • Disrupted claims processing
  • Retail pharmacy challenges within hospitals
  • Patient Portal access disruptions
  • Employee Health Savings Account disruptions
  • Inability to report on quality management to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)

Hospitals are working to mitigate some of these effects by creating “workarounds” and working with other vendors.

The Nevada State Medical Association notes problems from providers include submitting claims, verifying eligibility, obtaining prior authorizations and receiving payments.

Providers and staff from Cancer Care Specialists noted problems began weeks ago, when patients reported trouble getting their prescriptions from their local pharmacy. Soon after, the clinic could not bill for claims or receive payments.

Dr. Sowjanya Reganti, also the president of the he Nevada State Medical Association, said the clinic and providers are trying to find workarounds to help patients in need.

“Some of these drugs are chemotherapy drugs that they have to get from specialty pharmacies. We’ve been just trying to find ways to get some help for them,” Reganti said. “It’s really impacting our patient care, and our patients getting treatment in timely fashion. We’re very sad about this,” she said.


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