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US to shut advance payments program for Medicare providers hit by Change hack

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(Reuters) – The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said on Monday it plans to close an advance payments program it started to help some Medicare providers and suppliers hit by service disruptions at Change, UnitedHealth’s technology unit.

CMS plans to close the program on July 12 and said it will not accept new applications for Change Healthcare/Optum Payment Disruption accelerated or advance payments after that date.

Accelerated payments totaling more than $2.55 billion have been issued to over 4,200 providers including hospitals, it said.

It also issued 4,722 advance payments, totaling more than $717.18 million, to suppliers including doctors, non-physician practitioners and durable medical equipment suppliers.

CMS said it has already recovered over 96% of CHOPD payments to date and that suppliers and providers of services are now successfully billing Medicare.

(Reporting by Leroy Leo and Puyaan Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Shilpi Majumdar and Pooja Desai)

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