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Sen. Schumer at Cayuga Health: Hackers are crippling healthcare systems

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  • Staff Report 

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer visited Cayuga Health on March 4 to discuss the ramifications of a recent cyber attack targeting UnitedHealth’s Change Healthcare. This attack has disrupted healthcare operations locally and nationwide, affecting hospitals and pharmacies by hindering their revenue cycle and payment management. Schumer highlighted the significant impact on local healthcare providers, including Cayuga Health and Arnot Health, emphasizing the urgent need for a robust response to ensure continuity in healthcare services.

Amidst the cyber attack’s fallout, healthcare leaders expressed concern over the financial strain placed on their operations. Martin Stallone, President and CEO of Cayuga Health System, revealed the organization is accruing over a million dollars in claims daily due to the disruption. Similarly, Jonathan Lawrence, President and CEO of Arnot Health, advocated for a more permanent solution and additional national funding to bolster healthcare infrastructure against such vulnerabilities.

To mitigate the crisis, Schumer has called for immediate action from the Health and Human Services Agency and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid to expedite advanced payments to affected healthcare systems. This interim financial relief would help restore cash flow to hospitals, enabling them to maintain staffing and healthcare operations. Additionally, Schumer urged the FBI to prioritize the investigation into the cyber attack, aiming to hold the perpetrators accountable and prevent future incidents.