Nationwide Impact of Health Care Cyberattack Persists on Claims and Prescriptions


Nationwide Impact of Health Care Cyberattack Persists on Claims and Prescriptions

UnitedHealth is currently in the process of testing the last major system that was affected by last month’s cyberattack on Change Healthcare. While progress has been made in restoring systems for pharmacy claims and processing payments, there is no set date for when the entire recovery will be completed.

Change Healthcare is a technology provider that handles the submission and processing of insurance claims, processing approximately 14 billion transactions annually for various insurers. Last month, the company fell victim to ransomware attack by the group ALPHV, also known as Blackcat, which infiltrated its IT systems.

The American Hospital Association has described the cyberattack on Change Healthcare as one of the most significant incidents to impact the U.S. healthcare system. The disruption caused by the attack has made it challenging for hospitals to deliver care, submit insurance claims, and receive payment.

As a result of the attack, some patients may be redirected to pharmacies with fewer billing issues, and the processing of patients’ bills may experience delays. Patients whose data was compromised may be at risk of identity theft, depending on the nature of the stolen information. Free credit monitoring services are often offered in such cases.

Federal investigators are looking into whether protected health information was exposed during the cyberattack. Despite these challenges, progress has been made in restoring systems for processing prescriptions and electronic payments within Change Healthcare.

UnitedHealth is providing temporary funding to support affected healthcare providers, and the federal government is offering advance payments for Medicare claims to alleviate some of the financial strain caused by the cyberattack.

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