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UnitedHealth reports US$872m loss as Congress investigates its industry dominance

UnitedHealth is facing losses not far under US$1 billion in the aftermath of the Change Healthcare cyber attack it suffered earlier this year, according to its latest reports.

user icon Daniel Croft
Wed, 17 Apr 2024
UnitedHealth reports US$872m loss as Congress investigates its industry dominance
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Change Healthcare’s parent company has now said the ransomware attack had a dramatic impact on its business, resulting in a US$872 million drop in Q1 earnings. Direct cyber attack response costs added up to $593 million, while the remaining $279 million came due to business disruptions.

UnitedHealth, however, despite nearly two months of hardship and dealing with a major cyber attack, will still see its annual revenues skyrocket, growing almost US$8 billion year on year to a whopping US$99.8 billion.

The attack on Change Healthcare forced the provider to take its billing and payment processing service offline across the country, meaning that medical claims and insurance claims payments could not be processed.


This left Americans across the US without the ability to get lifesaving treatments and medication and forced many small medical institutions to either pay their staff or treat their patients, as they couldn’t afford to do both.

US Congress, in addition to ongoing investigations, met with industry experts this week to discuss the impacts of the attack on the healthcare industry as well as how to prevent something like this happening again.

One major concern was with UnitedHealth’s industry dominance, particularly following its acquisition of Change Healthcare in 2021.

The American Hospital Association’s (AHA) national cyber security adviser John Riggi testified to Congress, pointing out that the healthcare industry can no longer afford to have UnitedHealth have a failure, as this cyber attack has demonstrated, and that this demonstrates a major weak point in the industry’s operations.

“When UnitedHealth Group proposed its acquisition of Change Healthcare in 2021, the AHA wrote to the Department of Justice to express its significant concerns about the transaction, explaining that the acquisition also will concentrate an immense volume of competitively sensitive data in the hands of the most powerful health insurance company in the United States,” said Riggi, who, prior to joining the AHA, was a former longtime FBI official.

“The past two months have shown everyone what Change knew years ago: the healthcare system did not work without Change Healthcare.”

UnitedHealth was absent from the meeting.

Daniel Croft

Daniel Croft

Born in the heart of Western Sydney, Daniel Croft is a passionate journalist with an understanding for and experience writing in the technology space. Having studied at Macquarie University, he joined Momentum Media in 2022, writing across a number of publications including Australian Aviation, Cyber Security Connect and Defence Connect. Outside of writing, Daniel has a keen interest in music, and spends his time playing in bands around Sydney.

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