UnitedHealth Group's subsidiary, Change Healthcare, announces a new electronic prescription service and a financial assistance program for healthcare providers affected by a recent cyberattack, aiming to alleviate disruptions and support the healthcare ecosystem.

UnitedHealth Group’s subsidiary, Change Healthcare, recently announced the completion of a new electronic prescription service, aimed at providing relief for pharmacies and physicians affected by a significant cyberattack. UnitedHealth Group is also introducing a temporary financial assistance program to support healthcare providers facing cash flow challenges due to the incident.

Introduction of New Electronic Prescription Service

Change Healthcare has developed and successfully tested a new version of its “Rx ePrescribing service” in collaboration with vendors and retail pharmacy partners. This service was activated for all customers, offering a much-needed solution to the disruptions caused by the cyberattack. However, the company noted that the Clinical Exchange ePrescribing tools for providers are still not operational.

UnitedHealth Group’s Response to the Cyberattack

In response to the cyberattack detected on February 21, UnitedHealth Group took immediate action to isolate and disconnect the impacted systems. This swift response was crucial in preventing further damage, although it led to widespread disruptions across the healthcare system. Change Healthcare, known for its payment and revenue cycle management tools, plays a pivotal role in facilitating transactions between healthcare providers and major insurance companies.

Temporary Funding Assistance Program

To mitigate the impact on providers, UnitedHealth Group has launched a temporary funding assistance program designed to help with short-term cash flow needs without any associated fees, interest, or costs. This initiative reflects UnitedHealth Group’s commitment to maintaining the flow of payments within the healthcare ecosystem. Providers can verify their eligibility for the program through a newly established website dedicated to Change Healthcare’s recovery efforts.

Efforts to Resume Normal Operations

UnitedHealth Group is actively working to resume standard payment operations and has recommended manual workarounds for claims submission in the meantime. The company reports that more than 90% of pharmacies in the nation have adopted electronic claims processing workarounds, with the remaining pharmacies setting up offline processing systems. As a result, pharmacy claims are now flowing at near-normal levels, signaling significant progress in recovery efforts.