We’re Speaking Up About the Change Healthcare Outage and You Should Too

PUTT members and friends, we need you to help us talk to the FTC.

The U.S. weathered a national healthcare crisis over the last week but most Americans remain unaware of the breadth and scope of the problem. The Change Healthcare Outage — the result of a cyber attack by Blackcat ransomware group — left thousands of pharmacies and their patients without the ability to submit claims, verify eligibility or, in many cases, provide medicine and/or medical care for Medicare B patients, Medicaid patients, or patients depending on drug manufacturer coupons to afford prescriptions.

The media is focused on breaches of patient data privacy while Optum is downplaying the crisis, attempting to spin the situation as under control. But the problem is far greater than patient claims at the pharmacy counter, as shown on Optum/Change Healthcare’s enterprise update page. Change Healthcare processes 15 billion pharmacy claims annually and its reach extends to “technology for revenue cycle and payment management to multiple sectors within the healthcare industry”.

In their official acquisition announcement last year, Optum said “This opportunity is about advancing connectivity and accelerating innovations and efficiencies essential to a simpler, more intelligent and adaptive health system.” Right. Of course it is.

As we’ve said all along, bigger isn’t necessarily better in healthcare. The evidence suggests the more the giant health insurers are allowed to consolidate, the less quality care and protection patients and their providers receive and the Change Healthcare outage, regardless of cause, is just one more example. It’s a crisis of emerging, epic proportions with many patient populations unable to wait for “the switch to be turned back on”, whenever that might be.

The DOJ has opened an investigation into UnitedHealth Group for possible antitrust violations. We’re speaking out against Change Healthcare, and we encourage you to do so too.

We want to know if your pharmacy has been affected by the Change Healthcare outage. Take our survey now

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Pharmacists United for Truth & Transparency

PUTT is a nonprofit organization dedicated to advocating on behalf of independent pharmacy & fighting against PBM anti-competitive business tactics. TruthRx.org