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Change Healthcare Hack: What You Need to Know

March 25, 2024
The Wall Street Journal
Summary
Change Healthcare, a major medical claims clearinghouse in the U.S. owned by UnitedHealth Group, fell victim to a cyberattack by the ransomware group ALPHV, also known as BlackCat, leading to over 100 systems being disconnected and significant interruptions in medical claims processing since February 21. Despite efforts to restore services, with pharmacy claims back online as of March 7 and other services gradually returning, the attack has severely impacted healthcare providers nationwide, causing financial strains and operational disruptions. UnitedHealth is under investigation by the Department of Health and Human Services for its handling of the event, amid allegations of a possible $22 million ransom payment. The incident highlights the broader repercussions on the healthcare sector, including cash flow challenges and potential patient data breaches, prompting federal scrutiny and legislative proposals to safeguard against future cyberattacks.
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