Change cyberattack expenses expected to exceed $1 billion 

 Change cyberattack expenses expected to exceed $1 billion 

Change Healthcare booth at a HIMSS Global Conference

The Change Healthcare cyberattack is expected to cost UnitedHealth Group $1 billion to $1.5 billion this year, according to CFO John Rex, who was also named president this month.

The February 21 cyberattack disconnected Change from claims payments for hospitals and physician practices, disrupting provider revenue and financial stability to the point of potential bankruptcy for some practices, according to a recent American Medical Association survey.

UnitedHealth Group, the parent company of Optum, which owns Change, has been working to restore systems and is offering accelerated payments to providers. The company said it has provided over $6 billion in advance funding and interest-free loans.

UnitedHealth Group’s guiding focus on the Change Healthcare cyberattack is to make sure care is delivered, said CEO Andrew Witty during Tuesday morning’s Q1 earnings call.

The expectation is to fully return to performance levels next year.

Medicare Advantage

Medicare Advantage remains a strong business, according to Witty, despite 2025 representing the second year of funding reductions introduced by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services last year. 

With regards to MA, the company approached the issue with a deliberate three-year plan, Witty said.

For 2025, for the second consecutive year, CMS reduced the benchmark rate. It will decrease by 0.16% in 2025.

While getting a 3.7% pay increase for 2025, Medicare Advantage insurers expected more due to higher utilization costs. 

Q1 Results

For the quarter, UnitedHealth Group reported a net loss of $1.2 billion, compared to $5.7 billion in profits during the first quarter of last year.

The loss was due to a recorded $7 billion charge in the quarter from the sale of its Brazil operations and the direct response costs associated with the cyberattack.

However, stocks rose Tuesday on better-than-expected revenue for the quarter. Revenue of $99.8 billion grew nearly $8 billion year-over-year, the company reported.



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