17. What happened when Change Healthcare suffered a major cyberattack and what will it mean to the broader healthcare system moving forward?

About The Podcast:

Millions of Americans feel confused and frustrated in their search for quality healthcare coverage.

Between out-of-control costs, countless inefficiencies, a lack of affordable universal access, and little focus on wellness and prevention, the system is clearly in dire need of change.

Hosted by healthcare policy and technology expert Marc S. Ryan, the Healthcare Labyrinth Podcast offers accessible, incisive deep dives on the most pressing issues and events in American healthcare.

Marc seeks to help Americans become wiser consumers and navigate the healthcare maze with more confidence and certainty through the Healthcare Labyrinth website and his book of the same name.

Marc is an unconventional Republican who believes that affordable universal access is a wise and prudent investment. He recommends common-sense solutions to reform American healthcare.

Tune in every week as Marc examines the latest developments in the space, offering analysis, insights, and predictions on the changing state of healthcare in America.

About The Episode:

On this episode of the Healthcare Labyrinth Podcast, Marc discusses the recent Change Healthcare cyberattack – what happened, the impact to the healthcare system and the current status, and some potential changes that could occur due to the far-reaching assault.

Listen in to learn what may be in store on the cyber preparedness front and better security and technology overall.

Key Takeaways:

Cyberattacks have increased demonstrably over the last decade. Healthcare is especially targeted and vulnerable.

The Change Healthcare attack occurred on February 21 and restoration of the technology systems is ongoing.

Change has far-reaching ties to the healthcare system as it serves health plans, hospitals, providers, dentists, and more.

Change has major ties to providers and has critical services in the areas of eligibility and claims for providers, which were terribly impacted and continue to have manual processes as systems continue to be restored. The financial liquidity and stability of smaller providers are at risk due to the attack.

The attack was a ransomware attack that likely occurred through a vulnerability in an active directory or user authentication system. Change may have paid a ransom of as much as $22 million.

Change continues to restore systems. Major systems are nearly restored but over one hundred remain offline.

While Change will survive, there could be big revenue and reputational impacts to Change, its parent Optum, and its ultimate holder UnitedHealth Group.

The attack overall could mean an examination of several things: (a) consolidation in healthcare; (b) the legacy nature of the healthcare system’s technology, (c) cyber preparedness and business continuity, and (d) administrative complexity in healthcare.

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