Home » Cyberattack outages at UnitedHealth’s Change Healthcare extend to seventh day as pharmacies deploy workarounds

Cyberattack outages at UnitedHealth’s Change Healthcare extend to seventh day as pharmacies deploy workarounds

by NBC News

Change Healthcare’s systems are down for the seventh straight day after a cyber threat actor gained access to its network last week. Parent company UnitedHealth Group said most U.S. pharmacies have set up electronic workarounds to mitigate the impact.

UnitedHealth discovered that a “suspected nation-state-associated” threat actor breached part of Change Healthcare’s information technology network on Wednesday, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday. UnitedHealth isolated and disconnected the impacted systems “immediately upon detection” of the threat, the filing said. 

Change Healthcare offers tools for payment and revenue cycle management, and its system outages have disrupted operations in pharmacies and health systems across the country. UnitedHealth said late Monday night that more than 90% of the nation’s pharmacies have set up modified electronic claims processing workarounds, while the rest have established offline processing systems.

The disruption has not impacted provider cash flows yet since payments are typically issued one to two weeks after processing, UnitedHealth said Monday.

UnitedHealth is the biggest health-care company in the U.S. by market cap, and it owns the health-care provider Optum, which services more than 100 million patients in the U.S., according to its website. Change Healthcare merged with Optum in 2022.

In a series of updates posted since Wednesday, Change Healthcare said it has a “high-level” of confidence that Optum, UnitedHealthcare and UnitedHealth Group’s systems were not affected by the attack. UnitedHealth said that these entities have been working with external partners like Palo Alto Networks and Google Cloud’s Mandiant to assess the breach.

“We appreciate the partnership and hard work of all of our relevant stakeholders to ensure providers and pharmacists have effective workarounds to serve their patients as systems are restored to normal,”…

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