Digital Siege: Insurance Titan Breach Sends Medical World into Disarray.

Samuel Atta Amponsah
2 min readMar 3, 2024

A recent cyberattack targeting a major insurance processing entity has reverberated throughout the healthcare industry, affecting professionals from Maryland to New York. The attack, which struck Change Healthcare, a subsidiary of UnitedHealth specializing in prescription processing, has left healthcare providers grappling with significant disruptions, potentially resulting in substantial revenue losses. Psychotherapists assisting trauma victims expressed their concern over the prolonged billing outage, fearing they may be forced to relinquish their office space if the situation persists. Similarly, an allergist highlighted the added strain on healthcare practices and pharmacies, struggling to submit insurance claims and fill prescriptions amidst the chaos.

According to Carter Groome, CEO of First Health Advisory, healthcare providers are haemorrhaging over $100 million daily due to the outage, posing severe financial challenges in an industry already strained for liquidity. Groome likened the incident to the Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack of 2021, underscoring its significance as a national security concern. In response to the cyberattack, Elevance Health, the parent company of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, has severed network connections with Change Healthcare as a precautionary measure, ensuring member access to medical services remains unaffected.

As of Wednesday morning, Change Healthcare confirmed their affected network remains offline. However, Tyler Mason, a company spokesperson, reassured that insurance claims submissions have returned to pre-disruption levels through alternative clearinghouses. Despite efforts to mitigate the fallout, confusion persists among healthcare professionals. A mother recounted her struggle to obtain medication for her daughter, whose rare genetic syndrome requires multiple prescriptions for daily management. The incident underscored the profound impact on patients and caregivers alike.

Senior US cyber officials have been closely monitoring the situation, with the FBI and relevant government agencies actively engaging in efforts to address the cyber threat. Andrea Palm, Deputy Secretary of Health and Human Services, emphasized ongoing collaboration with Change Healthcare to restore network operations. Forensic evidence suggests the involvement of a prominent ransomware gang, known for its sophisticated cyber operations targeting various sectors. Despite previous law enforcement actions against the group, their resilience underscores the persistent threat posed by cybercriminal organizations.

The American Hospital Association (AHA) continues to receive reports of insurance claims disruption, highlighting the far-reaching implications of the cyberattack across the healthcare landscape. “This was a systemic attack,” remarked John Riggi, AHA’s national advisor for cybersecurity and risk, emphasizing its broad impact on the entire healthcare sector. As the investigation unfolds, stakeholders remain vigilant, navigating the aftermath of a cyber incident that has underscored the vulnerabilities inherent in critical healthcare infrastructure.

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Samuel Atta Amponsah

Sammy is a 24yr old avid reader and productivity junkie with an unquenchable curiosity and has an array of interests he writes about on multiple platforms.