Cyberattack could cause delays with some Monadnock Community Hospital lab results

Monadnock Community Hospital

Monadnock Community Hospital —FILE PHOTO

By CAMERON CASHMAN

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

Published: 03-04-2024 12:52 PM

Monadnock Community Hospital patients should expect a delay in accessing online lab results, according to a notice that went out Wednesday.

The delay is a result of a recent cyberattack on Change Healthcare, a part of Optum, Inc, which handles pharmacy and health care technologies, clinical authorizations, revenue cycle and more for UnitedHealth group, according to the notice.

Change Healthcare is associated with hospitals nationwide, and the attack has interrupted health care operations across the country. Hospital Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Richard Scheinblum the biggest impact locally was on lab results from their reference lab, Catholic Medical Center (CMC) in Manchester, which processes specialized lab orders not handled on campus. To ensure the security of patient information in the wake of the attack, lab results are being processed manually, which will result in potential delays. Patients may also have trouble accessing lab results on their online patient portal.

“Please be assured that all lab results, whether coming from our reference lab or from MCH’s lab are being reviewed by the ordering clinician in a timely manner and all critical orders will continue to take precedence,” the notice reads.

Scheinblum clarified that only lab results from their reference lab – about 20% of all results – would be affected. Results from the hospital’s on-campus lab would not be subject to the same delays. Additionally, Scheinblum noted that while several back-end systems were also affected by the attack, including claims, eligibility, and e-prescribing, patients shouldn’t anticipate any impact on regular MCH operations.

UnitedHealth first reported the incident a week prior, and MCH stated that they immediately began working with vendors to ensure the hospital was disconnected to all Change Healthcare products to ensure the security of patient health information. The American Hospital Association, the FBI, the Department of Health and Human Services and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency are working with UnitedHealth group to resolve the incident, which is being attributed to an online ransomware group called Blackcat.

For information, visit monadnockcommunityhospital.com/potential-laboratory-delays.

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