Cyberattack leaves patients seeking prescriptions in lurch

 February 23, 2024

This story was originally published by the WND News Center.

Cyberattacks can shut down banking procedures, online communications, corporation systems, and more.

And now they can threaten lives by infiltrating a system allowing the dispensing of prescriptions to patients.

The Business Insider reported the attack this week on UnitedHealth's Change Healthcare system and the American Hospital Association was urging healthcare facilities to disconnect from the system.

Change Healthcare itself said a number of its systems and services were hit by the cyberattack starting Wednesday.

The company said the problems were from "a suspected nation-state associated cybersecurity threat actor."

The corporation delivers prescription processing services and is part of United Health's Optum division, working with more than 67,000 pharmacies.

The company said it was "experiencing a cyber security issue" and it was working on it.

"Once we became aware of the outside threat, in the interest of protecting our partners and patients, we took immediate action to disconnect our systems to prevent further impact," it reported.

One report, in the Daily Mail, bluntly labeled the situation, as an attack from a "foreign nation."

Another published report from Fox said a restoration of services was expected imminently.

But it said the nature and origin of the attack were unclear.

One pharmacy chain said the problem was not with getting the prescriptions, but with billing them to insurance plans.

"If you can wait a day or so to pick up your RX that would be great. If you need it today we can do our best to accommodate individual needs," the chain said.

CVS officials told Fox its systems were unaffected.

"We are aware that Change Healthcare is experiencing a network interruption that is impacting certain business operations, as well as the operations of other companies nationally," an official. "There is no indication that CVS Health’s systems have been compromised."

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