The Hidden Fallout: How The Change Healthcare Cyberattack Is Impacting Healthcare

Change Healthcare Cyberattack

One pivotal player, Change Healthcare, controls an intricate web of healthcare systems, facilitating billions of transactions annually between insurance behemoths and healthcare providers. 

The attack isn’t merely a technological hiccup; it’s a systemic crisis. 

The Role Of Change Healthcare

Change Healthcare plays a crucial role in the healthcare payment cycle, acting as the go-between for insurance giants (think United Healthcare, Cigna, Blue Cross) and healthcare pros (docs, medical practices, hospitals). It’s like the credit card swiper for the healthcare world, handling a mind-boggling 15 billion transactions every year. Additionally, Change Healthcare is backed by United Health Group, the world’s 11th-largest company, clearly a significant player in the corporate universe.

Chaos Strikes

On February 21st, Change Healthcare fell victim to a cyberattack, severely denting its operations. It’s the dreaded ransomware attack, where hackers hold data hostage until a ransom is paid. This cyberattack is a significant blow to a system that handles so many important healthcare transactions. Yikes.

The Healthcare System Is In Crisis

Picture this: 67,000 pharmacies rely on Change Healthcare.

Suddenly, they can’t check insurance benefits or process claims smoothly, resulting in people being unable to get their prescriptions filled. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Medical practices are left high and dry, struggling to get paid and keep the lights on. 

The cyber attack isn’t just a hiccup; it’s a potential crisis disrupting the entire healthcare system.

Furthermore, this ransomware attack appears to benefit United Health Group.

They have been approaching practices that are going bankrupt because of their OWN data breach and offering to bail them out by purchasing them at a steeply discounted close-out price. 

An Under-Reported Crisis

What’s surprising is the lack of major media buzz.

It’s like the elephant in the room no one’s talking about. However, within healthcare circles, you know it’s a big deal. People are frustrated, and rightfully so. And the lack of transparency isn’t helping anyone.

This isn’t the first rodeo for healthcare data breaches. Remember the Anthem attack in 2015? Millions were affected, but the settlement was a drop in the bucket compared to the potential damage. It’s like a slap on the wrist for corporate giants.

A Call To Action

So, what’s the takeaway?

It’s imperative that we shine a light on this issue and initiate a conversation. Your stories matter. Whether you’re a patient, pharmacist, or doc, your experiences are crucial in understanding the impact of the Change Healthcare cyberattack.

We want to hear from you. Let’s talk about how this incident has affected your life and work. 

Check Out Our Conversation About Change Healthcare