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BBGH February Board Report

The Box Butte General Hospital (BBGH) Board of Trustees meeting was called to order at noon Monday, Feb. 26, in the Alliance Room of BBGH. This month’s agenda included the latest in Quality and Safety, an Information Technology (IT) report and a budget review. The January financial statements and credentialing applications were all approved as presented.

IT Manager Mandy Greve updated the Board on the recent Change Healthcare cyberattack and its effect on BBGH. According to Greve, on Wednesday, Feb. 21, Change Healthcare, a healthcare technology company owned by UnitedHealth Group, was hit with a cyberattack that caused a disruption to a number of its systems and services, including systems involved with the revenue cycle and pharmacy.

Patients should expect a delay in the billing process because of the cyberattack.

As of Monday, Feb. 26, there were no updates on when Change Healthcare’s systems would be fully operational, how much data has been lost, and what patient information has been compromised.

“I would suspect, if they truly got hit by ransomware, whether they pay the ransom or not and whether or not they were able to seclude it, the best-case scenario is we’re looking at a couple of weeks,” Greve said. “More realistic, we’re looking at a couple of months. A system that big, I guarantee you that they have thousands upon thousands of servers that potentially will need to be restored or rebuilt.”

Greve added that the BBGH IT team is actively monitoring the hospital’s internal systems to ensure that no ransomware has made its way into the system.

While systems are down, BBGH is unable to quickly check eligibility and process insurance claims. Pharmacies that use Change Healthcare services may also have a hard time processing prescription medications.

The Board also voted to implement a 5% rate increase for the 2024 and 2025 budget. The rate increase, which will go into effect March 1, is part of a feasibility study and plans to build a new Dialysis center and conduct necessary internal renovations to expand patient care services.

New employees recognized during the meeting included Paul Lulow, Central Sterile Tech, Christina Armstrong, Billing Specialist, and Paeten Robinson, Teacher Assistant. The Board also recognized the February Employee of the Month, Purchasing Assistant Mindy Pfannenstiel.

The Board went into executive session at 1:24 p.m. The meeting was adjourned at 1:37 with no action taken. The next BBGH Board meeting will be at noon on Monday, March 25, in the Alliance Room. The public is invited to attend.