Change Healthcare Cyberattack Is ‘Wake-Up Call’ for Vulnerable Industry

  • Mar 01, 2024

    Change Healthcare is the target of an ongoing cyberattack that is causing significant disruption for providers and pharmacists that rely on the UnitedHealth Group subsidiary to process claims, payments and authorizations.  

    While two prominent credit-rating firms say the incident likely won’t affect the credit worthiness or earnings outlook of UnitedHealth’s overall enterprise, one industry expert says the Change cyberattack does still pose risks for the company — and puts similarly diversified health insurers on notice. 

    “There’s just no guarantee that anybody’s going to be entirely safe from cyberattacks,” says Dean Ungar, a vice president and senior analyst at Moody’s Investors Service. “I think this does serve as a wake-up call or reminder to everyone in the industry…Even those [firms] that weren’t hit probably took this opportunity to take another look at what they’re doing and make sure that they’re protected — to the extent that you can be.” 

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  • Leslie Small

    Leslie has been working in journalism since 2009 and reporting on the health care industry since 2014. She has covered the many ups and downs of the Affordable Care Act exchanges, the failed health insurer mega-mergers, and hundreds of other storylines spanning subjects such as Medicaid managed care, Medicare Advantage, employer-sponsored insurance, and prescription drug coverage. As the managing editor of Health Plan Weekly and Radar on Drug Benefits, she writes and edits for both publications while overseeing a small team of reporters who also focus on the managed care sector. Before joining AIS Health, she was a senior editor for the e-newsletter Fierce Health Payer, and she started her career as a copy editor at multiple local newspapers. She graduated with a dual degree in journalism and political science from Penn State University.

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