The Importance of Redundant Payer Systems in Healthcare

redundant payer systems

As the Change Healthcare clearinghouse outage shows, payer gateway connection redundancy  is vital in the era of cyber attacks and outages.  Following a cyber attack, the Change Healthcare clearinghouse sustained a significant outage.  This limited the clearinghouse’s ability to transfer payments between healthcare providers and payers. 

Change Healthcare is a large entity; it handles 15 billion healthcare transactions in the United States every year, which makes up 1 in 3 US patient records.  The recent outage had large impacts, affecting the biggest processor of prescription medication in the United States. 

This incident reveals the necessity for preventative measures in the face of future outages.  A key way to avoid similar situations is redundancy.  Redundancy involves bringing multiple clearinghouses into conversation with one another.  This creates a decentralized system, meaning that, if any single clearinghouse in the network experiences an outage, the others can step up and continue to fulfill payments. 

Certain systems can help clearinghouses develop redundancy and decentralization.  These systems are built on modern architecture and are highly scalable.  They can communicate with multiple clearinghouses and remain operational during outages.  Orbit Healthcare is an example of one of these systems, and aims to support clearinghouses in preparing for outages. 
Cyber attacks and outages pose a threat to clearinghouses, but there are ways to prepare and avoid the worst consequences.  Establishing redundancy in healthcare payer systems can go a long way in ensuring that payer requests continue to go through.

Lessons Learned from the Change Healthcare Cyberattack
Source: Orbit Healthcare