To alleviate problems caused by the cyberattack on UnitedHealth Group’s subsidiary Change Healthcare/Optum in February, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is offering financial assistance to providers and suppliers who were affected. 

“CMS recognizes that providers and suppliers may face significant cash flow problems from the unusual circumstances impacting facilities’ operations, preventing facilities from submitting claims and receiving Medicare claims payments when using the Change Healthcare platform,” according to a press release. “CMS has heard these concerns and is taking direct action to support the important needs of the health care sector.” 

CHOPD Accelerated Payments

On March 9, 2024, CMS made available Change Healthcare/Optum Payment Disruption (CHOPD) accelerated payments to Part A providers and advance payments to Part B suppliers experiencing claims disruptions as a result of the cyberattack. The CHOPD accelerated and advance payments may be granted in amounts representative of up to 30 days of claims payments to eligible providers and suppliers. 

Further Reading: Cyber Attacks and How to Protect Your Practice: An Interview with Ridge Sampson of

The average 30-day payment is based on the total claims paid to the provider/supplier between August 1, 2023 and October 31, 2023, divided by three. These payments will be repaid through automatic recoupment from Medicare claims for a period of 90 days. A demand will be issued for any remaining balance on day 91 following the issuance of the accelerated or advance payment. 

Staying Up to Date on CMS Assistance

CMS stated that it will continue to monitor the incident and its impact, and advised that providers and suppliers should continue to work with all their payers regarding how to receive timely payments, and any additional short term funding programs offered through other payers.

According to the release, CMS has encouraged MA organizations to offer advance funding to providers most affected by this cyberattack. 

For more details, including eligibility requirements, visit the CMS fact sheet