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Cyberattack on insurance giant disrupting business for doctors, therapists

·2 mins

A week after a cyberattack disrupted insurance processing at pharmacies across the US, health care professionals from Maryland to New York say the hack continues to upend their businesses, potentially cutting into revenue. A psychotherapist in Maryland worries about having to give up her office space if the billing outage continues much longer. An allergist in New York hasn’t been able to submit claims to insurance carriers for a week. The cyberattack targeted Change Healthcare, a unit of a health IT giant that processes prescriptions to insurance for pharmacies nationwide. Cybersecurity experts estimate that some health care providers are losing more than $100 million per day because of the outage. In response to the hack, an insurance company has severed network connections to Change Healthcare “out of an abundance of caution.” Change Healthcare’s affected network is still offline, but alternative clearing houses are being used to submit claims. Confusion remains among some health care professionals trying to adapt to the situation. One Utah-based health care researcher struggled to get her pharmacy to process her insurance and resolve the issue. Senior US cyber officials have been concerned about the cyberattack, with the FBI and departments of Health and Human Service (HHS) and Homeland Security involved in regular calls to address the problem. Forensic evidence suggests that a ransomware gang was responsible for the hack. The gang has claimed responsibility and is known for targeting various sectors in the US. The American Hospital Association (AHA) continues to receive reports of the cyberattack interfering with the processing of insurance claims. AHA states that this was a systemic attack on the entire health care sector.