Payment issues effecting local mental healthcare facilities

PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Health Alliance has racked up a bill of more than $90,000 with Evergreen Coaching and Counseling services, due to a cyberattack on a revenue service center in February.

Change Healthcare, a revenue service center, was cyberattacked on Feb. 21. Many insurance companies like Blue Cross Blue Shield, UnityPoint Health, and Health Alliance use this center.

The lack of payments effects employee salaries and may cause companies to consider closing their doors.

Denise Robinson, Evergreen’s finance director, said it’s frustrating because they haven’t be receiving much communication.

“Most mental health providers are small businesses and when you deplete our revenue cycle in such a large way, it makes it really hard to keep our doors open guarantee access to mental health services.” she said.

Though the problem has been reported as “fixed” on Change Healthcare’s part, Health Alliance still has yet to make payments.

We reached out to Health Alliance, owned by Carle Health, for reasoning on why they have an outstanding bill.

“We have been committed to creating an open dialogue and working with our provider partners since the Change Healthcare cyber security incident issue began. While the event continues to limit our ability to process provider payments, we have communicated with providers in a number of ways the support Change Healthcare parent company Optum is offering through a temporary funding assistance program that providers can apply for to continue the flow of payments during the system disruption. We are working to establish alternative vendor systems and are hopeful to resolve the situation in the coming days.” said Brittany Simon, a Carle Health spokesperson.

Robinson said she has contacted Health Alliance about payment on numerous occasions and their response is to “get a loan”. She said she believes it wouldn’t be a smart financial decision based on the fact that they are unsure when they will receive the payment.

Health Alliance is also the benefits provider for Evergreen. Robinson stated they owe almost $100,000 in revenue, but expect Evergreen Coaching and Counseling to pay $10,000 for services.

“So they are still sending their bills out, they’re still requiring the employers and the policy holders to pay their bills but they are not paying for the services that are being receive by their policy holders.”

In response to lack of payment, Robinson and several employees of Evergreen traveled to Champaign and stood outside Health Alliance as a demonstration for how many families the lack of payment is effecting.

They were immediately escorted off the property. Robinson said she has received more correspondence since the rally, but have not received a set date on when to expect payment.

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