UnitedHealth Group has provided over $2bn to help healthcare providers affected by a ransomware cyberattack in February, the company announced yesterday (18 March).

Change Healthcare, a division of UnitedHealth Group, is releasing medical claims preparation software to resume services, with thousands of customers expected to gain access in the coming days. Service restoration efforts are ongoing, with the aim of reconnecting all customers.

The cyber attack prompted Change Healthcare to take action upon discovering the breach on 22 February.

Change Healthcare, which merged with Optum, in a $7.8bn deal in 2022, reported the incident in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

Reports from pharmacies indicated delays in filling prescriptions and providing essential services.

Restoration efforts include the restoration of Change Healthcare’s electronic payments platform on 15 March, and the restoration of 99% of pharmacy network services on 7 March.

UnitedHealth Group said it has implemented various initiatives to assist care providers financially. This includes advancing funds and suspending prior authorisations for certain services for Medicare Advantage plans.

Hackers target healthcare organisations to steal intellectual property, protected health information, and personal information.

As Change Healthcare works to restore its systems, the duration and extent of the disruption remain uncertain, emphasising the critical need for robust cybersecurity measures in the healthcare sector.

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