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Change Healthcare Launches New E-Prescription Service After Cyberattack

ByHuey Yee Ong

Mar 3, 2024
Change Healthcare Launches New E-Prescription Service After Cyberattack

Change Healthcare Launches New E-Prescription Service After Cyberattack

Change Healthcare has announced the successful deployment of a new electronic prescription service. This initiative, launched on March 1st, aims to alleviate some of the operational strains faced by pharmacies and physicians in the wake of a persistent cyberattack that has disrupted healthcare services.

Change Healthcare’s Response to the Cyberattack

The cyberattack, identified on February 21st by UnitedHealth Group, targeted a section of Change Healthcare’s IT network, prompting immediate action to isolate and disconnect the affected systems. This preemptive measure, though crucial for security, led to widespread disruption within the healthcare system, affecting payment and revenue cycle management processes critical for the smooth operation of healthcare services.

Recognizing the urgency of the situation, UnitedHealth Group has also introduced a temporary funding assistance program help healthcare providers manage short-term cash flow challenges caused by the cyberattack. Below is a table summarizing key aspects of this program:

Program AimTo support healthcare providers with short-term cash flow needs.
Absence of FeesNo fees, interest, or other associated costs involved.
RepaymentFunds need to be repaid once standard operations resume.
Eligibility CheckProviders can check their eligibility through a link on the new website.
Program Not ForNot meant for providers experiencing disruptions to their claims submissions.
RecommendationManual workarounds for claims suggested; working on addressing non-addressable claims.

Supporting Healthcare Providers with Temporary Funding

The cyberattack’s impact extends beyond the immediate operational disruptions, highlighting the vulnerability of the healthcare industry to cyber threats. It underscores the critical need for robust cybersecurity measures to protect sensitive data and maintain uninterrupted healthcare services. Change Healthcare’s quick response in establishing a new electronic prescription service, tested and enabled for all customers shortly after the attack, demonstrates a proactive approach in mitigating the fallout and maintaining essential healthcare operations.

Furthermore, UnitedHealth Group’s establishment of a dedicated website provides a centralized source of information on Change Healthcare’s response to the cyberattack. This platform offers details about the temporary funding assistance program, including eligibility criteria and application processes, reflecting the company’s transparency and efforts to facilitate access to support for affected providers.

Ensuring Transparency and Access to Information

The disruption caused by the cyberattack, lasting for over ten days, prompted UnitedHealth Group to devise manual and electronic workarounds to sustain pharmacy claims processing. These measures, while temporary, have significantly contributed to restoring pharmacy claims to near-normal levels, showcasing the resilience and adaptability of the healthcare system in the face of cyber challenges.

UnitedHealth Group’s late announcement that over 90% of the nation’s pharmacies had adopted these workarounds underscores the collaborative effort within the healthcare sector to ensure the continued delivery of services to patients.

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Featured Image courtesy of Bloomberg via Getty Images

Huey Yee Ong

Hello, from one tech geek to another. Not your beloved TechCrunch writer, but a writer with an avid interest in the fast-paced tech scenes and all the latest tech mojo. I bring with me a unique take towards tech with a honed applied psychology perspective to make tech news digestible. In other words, I deliver tech news that is easy to read.