Change Healthcare Confirms Cyber Attack, Disrupting Systems Across US Healthcare

Cyber Attack

Change Healthcare, a major US healthcare technology firm, confirmed a cyberattack on its systems. In a statement, the company acknowledged a network interruption related to a cybersecurity issue, taking immediate action to disconnect systems to prevent further impact. The disruption is expected to last at least through the day, impacting login pages and services.

The incident began on the US East Coast early Wednesday, affecting most of Change Healthcare's operations. Local pharmacies, including Michigan's Scheurer Health, reported outages affecting prescription processing through insurance due to the cyberattack.

Change Healthcare, handling patient payments across the US healthcare system, processes 15 billion healthcare transactions annually and touches one in three US patient records. The company's significance increased after the $7.8 billion merger with Optum, completed by health insurance giant UnitedHealth Group in 2022. Optum, providing technology and data to insurance companies and healthcare services, broadened its access to patient records through the merger.

Optum's spokesperson declined to provide further details beyond the incident tracker's information. Neither Change Healthcare nor UnitedHealth Group commented on the incident. However, UnitedHealth attributed the cyberattack to likely government-backed hackers, without specifying the nation state involved.

In summary, the cyberattack on Change Healthcare, affecting its systems nationwide, disrupted critical healthcare services, including prescription processing. The incident underscores the vulnerability of healthcare systems to cyber threats and raises concerns about data security and patient privacy in the healthcare industry.