US Health Tech Giant Change Healthcare Hit by Cyberattack


Change Healthcare, one of the largest healthcare technology companies in the United States, has recently confirmed that it has fallen victim to a cyberattack. The company issued a statement, acknowledging that it was “experiencing a network interruption related to a cyber security issue.” Immediate action was taken to disconnect the systems in order to prevent further impact and protect partners and patients. As a result, the disruption is expected to last at least through the day.

The Cybersecurity Incident

The specific nature of the cyberattack on Change Healthcare has not been disclosed publicly. However, it is evident that the incident has caused significant disruption to the company’s operations. Most of the login pages for Change Healthcare were inaccessible or offline at the time of writing.

Local pharmacies, particularly in Michigan, have reported outages due to the cyberattack. Scheurer Health, a healthcare provider in Michigan, stated on its Facebook page that it is currently unable to process prescriptions through patients’ insurance, citing the “nationwide outage from the largest prescription processor in North America,” referring to Change Healthcare.

Change Healthcare’s Role in the US Healthcare System

Change Healthcare plays a crucial role in the US healthcare system, handling patient payments across various healthcare providers. The company boasts on its website that it handles a staggering 15 billion healthcare transactions annually, with one-in-three US patient records being “touched by our clinical connectivity solutions.”

In 2022, UnitedHealth Group, a leading health insurance giant, completed its merger of Optum and Change Healthcare in a $7.8 billion deal. This merger granted Optum broad access to patient records on tens of millions of Americans. Optum provides technology and data to insurance companies and healthcare services, and both Optum and Change Healthcare are owned by UnitedHealth Group.

Impact on Healthcare Providers and Patients

The cyberattack on Change Healthcare has caused significant disruptions for healthcare providers and patients. Local pharmacies experiencing outages are unable to process prescriptions through patients’ insurance, leading to potential delays and inconveniences for those in need of medication.

Healthcare providers relying on Change Healthcare’s services may also face challenges in managing patient payments and accessing critical patient records. This disruption can hinder the seamless delivery of healthcare services and impact patient care.

Response and Investigation

Change Healthcare has taken immediate action to address the cyberattack and minimize its impact. The company is actively working to restore its systems and ensure the security of its network. However, the investigation into the cyberattack is ongoing, and the company has not disclosed any further details regarding the incident.

Optum, the parent company of Change Healthcare, has not provided additional information beyond what was published on the incident tracker. It remains unclear what evidence Optum has to suspect a cybersecurity incident.

Protecting Against Cyberattacks in the Healthcare Industry

The cyberattack on Change Healthcare highlights the ongoing threat that healthcare organizations face in terms of cybersecurity. It serves as a reminder that healthcare providers and technology companies must remain vigilant and proactive in safeguarding patient data and critical systems.

To protect against cyberattacks, healthcare organizations should implement robust security measures, including:

  1. Regular Vulnerability Assessments: Conducting regular vulnerability assessments helps identify potential weaknesses in the network and applications, allowing organizations to address them promptly.
  2. Employee Education and Training: Training employees on cybersecurity best practices, such as recognizing phishing emails and using strong passwords, can significantly reduce the risk of successful cyberattacks.
  3. Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA): Implementing MFA adds an extra layer of security by requiring users to provide multiple forms of identification, such as a password and a unique code sent to their mobile device.
  4. Data Encryption: Encrypting sensitive data ensures that even if it is accessed by unauthorized individuals, it remains unreadable without the decryption key.
  5. Regular Data Backups: Regularly backing up critical data helps organizations recover quickly in the event of a cyberattack or data loss.
  6. Continuous Monitoring and Incident Response: Implementing real-time monitoring systems and incident response plans helps organizations detect and respond to cyber threats promptly, minimizing the damage caused.

The Growing Threat of Cyberattacks in Healthcare

The healthcare industry has increasingly become a prime target for cybercriminals due to the high value of patient data and the potential impact on patient care. According to a report by cybersecurity firm CynergisTek, healthcare data breaches increased by 55.1% in 2021, with ransomware attacks being the most prevalent form of cyberattack.

The consequences of cyberattacks in the healthcare industry can be severe, ranging from financial losses to compromised patient data and disruption of critical services. It is crucial for healthcare organizations to prioritize cybersecurity measures and invest in robust defense systems to protect patient information and maintain the integrity of their operations.


The cyberattack on Change Healthcare serves as a stark reminder of the constant threat that healthcare organizations face in terms of cybersecurity. The disruption caused by the attack highlights the importance of proactive cybersecurity measures and the need for continuous monitoring and incident response plans.

Healthcare providers and technology companies must remain vigilant in safeguarding patient data and critical systems. Implementing robust security measures, educating employees, and regularly assessing vulnerabilities can help mitigate the risk of cyberattacks and protect the integrity of the healthcare industry.

By staying proactive and investing in cybersecurity, healthcare organizations can ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of patient data while providing high-quality care to their patients.