UnitedHealth sets mid-March goal for restoring Change systems after cyberattack

A Minnesota-based health insurer has provided an update on the cyberattack the impacted its Change Healthcare systems, saying it’s aiming to restore those systems later this month.

UnitedHealth Group has confirmed it experienced a cybersecurity issue caused by an actor calling itself “ALPHV/Blackcat.” Multiple reports and cybersecurity experts indicate that UnitedHealth appears to have paid a $22 million ransom to the hacker group, which the company hasn’t confirmed.

The hack left some hospitals, doctor’s offices and pharmacies paralyzed, although the disruptions appear to have eased.

On Thursday, UnitedHealth said it is still working to mitigate the impact of the cyberattack but said it doesn’t have any indication that any other systems were affected.

“We are committed to providing relief for people affected by this malicious attack on the U.S. health system,” UnitedHealth CEO Andrew Witty said in a prepared statement. “All of us at UnitedHealth Group feel a deep sense of responsibility for recovery and are working tirelessly to ensure that providers can care for their patients and run their practices, and that patients can get their medications. We’re determined to make this right as fast as possible.”

Additionally, the company provided a timeline for when Change systems will be restored. Pharmacy functions like electronic prescribing are already available, the company says, adding that it plans to restore functionality for the payments platform on March 15 and start working to reestablish its network and software for medical claims the week of March 18.