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UnitedHealth Expects Change Healthcare Systems Restoration by Mid-March

UnitedHealth Group aims to restore Change Healthcare’s systems by mid-March, following a ransomware attack that disrupted essential operations in the U.S. healthcare system.

The cyber threat actor breached part of Change Healthcare’s IT network on Feb. 21, prompting UnitedHealth to isolate and disconnect impacted systems immediately. This interruption affected pharmacy services, payment platforms, and medical claims processes.

In an update, UnitedHealth confirmed that electronic prescribing is fully functional, with payment transmission and claim submissions operational. Electronic payment functionality is anticipated to resume by March 15, followed by connectivity testing with claims networks and software on March 18.

The company reassured that no other UnitedHealth systems were compromised in the attack.

To support affected healthcare providers, UnitedHealth introduced a temporary funding assistance program. Further funding solutions are available, including advances to providers who lack financial support from payers during the system downtime. These advances will only require repayment once claims flows return to normal.

The ransomware group Blackcat, identified as the perpetrator, specializes in data theft and extortion. Ransomware attacks pose significant risks in the healthcare sector, impacting patient safety and data security.

While specifics regarding compromised data and ransom payments remain undisclosed, UnitedHealth remains dedicated to mitigating the attack’s impact and safeguarding the healthcare ecosystem.

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