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Change Healthcare experiencing a cyberattack

by News7

Update: This story has been updated on February 23 to include comments from the American Hospital Association.

Change Healthcare, a software and data analytics vendor that offers revenue cycle management, clinical decision support and other operations tools, announced Wednesday it took its systems offline due to a cyber incident.

“Once we became aware of the outside threat, in the interest of protecting our partners and patients, we took immediate action to disconnect our systems to prevent further impact,” the company said in an online incident report. 

While Change Healthcare said the systems of United Health Group (Change is a subsidiary of United Health) have not been affected, pharmacies in Michigan and others across the U.S. are reporting they are unable to process prescriptions.

AHA said Thursday in a cybersecurity advisory statement to its membership that it has been in communication with the FBI, Department of Health and Human Services and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency regarding this incident.

“Due to the sector-wide presence and the concentration of mission-critical services provided by Optum, the reported interruption could have significant cascading and disruptive effects on revenue cycle, certain healthcare technologies and clinical authorizations provided by Optum across the healthcare sector,” AHA said.

Thus, the hospital organization is recommending “that all healthcare organizations that were disrupted or are potentially exposed by this incident consider disconnection from Optum until it is independently deemed safe to reconnect.”


Optum acquired Change Healthcare in 2021 for $13 billion, pairing Change’s technology integrating evidence-based criteria into the clinician workflows with Optum’s clinical analytics expertise.

In 2022, Change Healthcare launched patient engagement tools to help patients better navigate the care continuum and improve revenue cycle management for providers.

It is one of the largest healthcare companies and prescription providers in the United States, and handles 15 billion healthcare transactions annually, according to its website.


“At this time, we believe the issue is specific to Change Healthcare and all other systems across UnitedHealth Group are operational,” the company said on its website Thursday. 

In addition to considering disconnection from Optum during the cyber incident, AHA is also recommending “that organizations which utilize Optum’s services prepare related downtime procedures and contingency plans should Optum’s services remain unavailable for an extended period.”

Andrea Fox is senior editor of Healthcare IT News.

Email: [email protected]
Healthcare IT News is a HIMSS Media publication.

Source : Healthcare IT News

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