Doctors impacted by Lurie Children’s Hospital network outage can apply for emergency loans

CHICAGO — Independent doctors impacted by the ongoing network outage at Lurie Children’s Hospital are getting some relief, according to a new report.

WBEZ Chicago reports that emergency loans are being offered to independent pediatricians that have struggled to bill patients due to the cybersecurity attack that has forced Lurie’s systems offline since Jan. 31. The report also ran via the Sun-Times.

According to the report, Lurie Children’s Pediatric Partners Clinically Integrated Network, LLC — which is owned, in part, by Lurie Children’s Hospital — is offering short-term emergency loans to eligible community pediatric practices. Those practices can apply to receive up to $50,000 per physician, the report says.

A Lurie spokeswoman confirmed to WBEZ Chicago that a pediatric healthcare network is offering loans “to support patients’ continued access to community pediatric providers.”

Last week, Lurie said it’s making progress toward restoring communications. Outbound and inbound email from external addresses has been restored, the hospital said, and phone lines are also back up.

However, the online portal MyChart — the primary way that providers communicate with patients — is still offline.

The outage has caused a ripple-effect of problems, including delays in lab results, surgeries, billing and general communication between families and physicians. It’s also prompted security experts to warn that cybersecurity attacks on hospitals are likely to increase.

Lurie continues to use its call center as the best way for families to reach providers and service lines. The call center number is 1-800-543-7362, and it operates Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to noon.

During the hours when the call center is closed, the main operator can be reached at 312-227-4000.

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