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Availity offers ‘Lifeline’ to help hospitals and providers with claims | HIMSS 2024

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The company has processed claims for health systems and physicians affected by the Change Healthcare cyberattack, handling more than $5 billion in claims.

Orlando, Florida - Hospitals and providers have seen delays in processing claims due to the Change Healthcare cyberattack, and that’s hurting their finances.

Image: Ron Southwick, Chief Healthcare Executive

Availity has processed $5 billion in claims for providers through its Lifeline program, said Matt Schlossberg, the company's director of public relations.

Availity, a healthcare technology firm, has set up a program to help providers process their claims. The company is offering its Lifeline program to help healthcare organizations file claims with insurers, and Availity is finding plenty of providers looking for assistance.

Availity said this week it has helped process more than $5 billion in claims since the Change Healthcare attack. The company said it has helped more than 300,000 providers and more than 50 health systems with its Lifeline program. Availity expects more hospitals and providers who need help with their claims to utilize the program.

Matt Schlossberg, Availity’s director of public relations, said the company has offered the Lifeline service to providers at no charge.

“Our focus right now is really establishing those new routes to health plans and getting those providers opportunities in clearing out their backlogs,” Schlossberg told Chief Healthcare Executive® in an interview at the HIMSS Global Health Conference & Exhibtion.

Hospitals and providers have encountered serious financial difficulties due to the attack, with delays in processing claims and interruptions in cash flow.

More than 9 in 10 hospitals (94%) said they have had a financial impact due to the cyberattack, according to a new survey released by the American Hospital Association.

Nearly 60% of the hospitals said the impact on their revenue has been $1 million per day or greater, the poll found. Nearly 3 out of 4 hospitals said the attack has interrupted patient care.

The American Medical Association has said that the attack has stressed physician practices, and warned that it could threaten the solvency of some providers.

“We certainly feel the acute pain that providers are feeling, particularly individual providers and our group practices, medical groups, and we're doing everything we can to reach out to those folks, get them signed up with Lifeline,” Schlossberg said.

The Lifeline program is designed to get providers filing claims within days, and even hours, he said.

One day last week, Availity said it had processed more than 12.7 million claims, an increase of 40% over the company’s normal daily volume.

The Lifeline program was set up in 48 hours, Schlossberg said.

“We are able to move very quickly,” he said. “It was a matter of just slimming down the bells and whistles. It was the bare minimum you need to be able to get your claims in.”

The cyberattack will likely be prompting healthcare organizations across the industry to take a closer look at their security posture, he said.

“Cyber threats are the cost of doing business,” Schlossberg said. “It's always going to happen. And we're always going to be racing to kind of keep up with the criminals.”

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Image: Ron Southwick, Chief Healthcare Executive
Image credit: HIMSS
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