MCCH Council Updated on Ransomware’s Effect on Payroll | Local news

MURRAY – The Murray-Calloway County Public Hospital Board of Directors was updated on Wednesday on the status of a ransomware attack that left the hospital without access to its payroll information.

MCCH CEO Jerry Penner said employees will be paid on time today, but paychecks will be based on a pay period in November as the hospital currently cannot access its records hourly compensation. Penner said the hospital learned on December 13 of a ransomware attack against Ultimate Kronos Group, a human resources management company that MCCH has contracted with. According to a Penner report cited in Becker’s Hospital Review, the ransomware attack affected Kronos’ Private Cloud software platform that many hospitals, healthcare providers and other businesses across the country are using for planning, accounting time, payroll and human resources. The attack happened on December 11, and the company said in a December 13 blog post that it was working to resolve the issue. However, Kronos said it could take several weeks to restore services.

“It has to do with our payroll and our finances with our HR accounting for people signing overtime and their regular time, and Kronos unfortunately had a ransomware attack,” Penner said. “So that brought us all to our knees on that particular aspect, because the last time I checked I have about 1,000 employees that we have to pay (Thursday). So we had about 10 days to figure out how we pay everyone. The problem is, all of our data is in the cloud and you have to find a way to remove this information, but you can’t at the moment because everything is frozen.

Penner said there were probably 600 to 700 other hospitals facing the same problem. He said the fact that this affects the last paycheck of the year makes the situation even more difficult as the hospital has to figure out how to fit that pay period into its 2021 W-2s without even knowing how long it will take. before the problem can be fixed. The W-2 forms must be ready by Jan.31, he said.

“Ultimately, we’re going to go back to the last pay period we had before Thanksgiving, which was Nov. 7 to 24,” Penner said. “It’s probably the easiest for us to come back because we didn’t have a lot of special things going on. There are a lot of things we could have done, like averaging multiple pay periods and trying to figure it out, but this is the best we can find.

“The problem is, there are people who weren’t even working for us on November 20. So new hires want to receive checks, and there are other things that we may need to sort out because someone may have been away for a long time during that time. We need to have a way for the PRNs (nurses on call) who worked during this period (to be paid appropriately). Bonuses could have been paid during this period, resulting in overpayments. So there are going to be reconciliations that will happen somewhere when all of this comes to pass. “

Penner said he assured staff at a Zoom conference that everyone would be paid before Christmas. He said CFO John Bradford has a system in place to grant loans in case employee paychecks are insufficient. He said checks and direct deposits will be issued and hopefully very few employees will feel the impact of the ransomware attack.

Penner said that while MCCH waits to see when Kronos can resolve the issue, the hospital will have a server onsite that can pull data from the clocks, saving administrators from having to do manual timesheets.

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