UnitedHealth vows to bring back Change Healthcare stronger than before hack

UnitedHealth Group plans to bring Change Healthcare back stronger than it was before it suffered the largest cyberattack in the history of the U.S. healthcare system. 

On an April 16 call with investors, UnitedHealth Group CEO Andrew Witty said it is "important for the country" that UnitedHealth Group owns Change. 

"Without UnitedHealth Group owning Change Healthcare, this attack likely would still have happened. It would have left Change Healthcare, I think, extremely challenged to come back," Mr. Witty said. "Because it is a part of UnitedHealth Group, we've been able to bring it back. We're going to bring it back much stronger than it was before." 

The company reported its first quarter earnings April 16. UnitedHealth Group expects to lose $1.6 billion total as a result of the hack and reported $872 million in direct impact from the attack in the first quarter. The healthcare giant reported a rare loss of $1.4 billion in the first quarter. 

Despite the losses, the company beat investors expectations for earnings, The Wall Street Journal reported. 

UnitedHealth Group acquired Change Healthcare, the largest claims clearinghouse in the U.S., for $7.8 billion in 2022. The platform was hacked by a ransomware group in February, leading to widespread disruptions in financial operations for hospitals, insurers, pharmacies and medical groups nationwide. 

UnitedHealth has restored most of its services as of April 16. The company advanced $6 billion in payments to providers affected by the hack. 

Roger Connor, CEO of Optum Insight, told investors he's confident the company can bring back any customers who switched to other platforms while Change was down. Clients want the functionality they had with Change platforms back, Mr. Connor said. 

"We're working with them to ensure that we can actually do that. Also, we provided financial support to a number of our clients and they appreciate that. They have said to us that they appreciate it. That's a signal that we are committed both to them, but then also to this marketplace as well," Mr. Connor said. 

Mr. Connor said he expects to bring Change Healthcare back to its baseline performance in 2025 and said the platform accounts for just 15% of revenue in Optum Insight. 

"That means I've got thousands of people who are continuing to work on other products outside of Change, not impacted by this and their underlying performance this quarter has been strong," Mr. Connor said. 

Copyright © 2024 Becker's Healthcare. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Cookie Policy. Linking and Reprinting Policy.


Top 40 articles from the past 6 months