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Change Healthcare hack continues to inflict major damage

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Lawyer Sara Goldstein from BakerHostetler law firm reports that the massive attack on Change Healthcare has led to around 120 of the company’s IT products and services being offline since February 21. This cyber incident has had a significant impact on the entire healthcare industry, affecting major companies as well. The cybercriminals behind the attack claim to be from BlackCat/Alphv.

Change Healthcare, a division of Optum under UnitedHealth Group, provides a wide range of essential IT tools to healthcare enterprises, ranging from eligibility checks and prior authorization to pharmacy benefits and claims processing. The company handles 15 billion healthcare transactions annually.

The severe consequences of cybercrime

Goldstein noted, “The volume of information exchanged and the critical role they play in healthcare is immense. The repercussions have been significant.” She added, “Many healthcare providers are unable to process claims, payments, or conduct patient billing. This lack of services and revenue generation will likely put many healthcare systems and providers in a financially precarious position.”

The Medical Group Management Association, representing 350,000 physicians and 15,000 group medical practices, urged the US Department of Health and Human Services to use all available resources to mitigate the impacts to prevent drastic measures by medical groups to stay operational. The MGMA stressed the need for guidance, financial support, enforcement leniency, and more to avoid exacerbating the already serious situation.

Challenges of consolidation in large companies

Goldstein highlighted that even organizations without a direct contractual relationship with Change Healthcare are experiencing disruptions. She added, “An issue that has been identified is the negative impact of consolidating these types of vendors in the healthcare sector. This situation is quite catastrophic.”

Cybercrime does not discriminate and affects entities across the board.

Watch the Goldstein interview on Inforisktoday.com.

Image Credit: Created by Total Shape; Pexels

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