08 March, 2024

Cyber Attack Opens Conversation Nation-wide for Healthcare Systems Looking to Gain Legal Protection and Preventative Measures Against the Next Wave


In: Client Alert


Comments: 0


The recent cyberattack that disrupted the largest U.S. healthcare payment system, Change Healthcare--a subsidiary of UnitedHealth Group--has had a staggering impact on the financial operations of medical providers nationwide. The crisis highlights the vulnerability of healthcare infrastructure to cyber threats and underscores the need for robust legal strategies to mitigate risks and manage potential liabilities.

At Quintairos, Prieto, Wood & Boyer, P.A., we understand that this event is more than a temporary operational hurdle; it represents a broader legal and financial challenge for our clients. The incident has left providers from large hospital networks to individual practitioners in a dire cash flow predicament due to the paralysis of billing and payment systems. This interruption has far-reaching implications, disrupting everything from routine prescription fillings to significant medical procedures.

The situation demands a multifaceted legal response. Organizations may face complex disputes regarding interrupted services, non-fulfillment of contractual obligations, and potential breaches of patient data security. Corporate governance and operation of these organizations and others will face new challenges and "good governance demands companies of all sizes, in all sectors, and in all facets of the supply chain acknowledge cybersecurity risks to their business operations and financial condition," said Chicago-based partner and Co-chair of QPWB's Business Risk Division, Kristopher Keys.

The federal government's recent steps to alleviate financial pressures via accelerated Medicare payments and urging insurers to waive prior authorization rules signal a regulatory response that will be continuously monitored by many in the industry. However, operational and financial stress may just be the tip of the cyber security symptom iceberg according to Bryan Rotella, the Founder and Managing Partner of GenCo Legal(R) a division of QPWB.

The renowned A.I. Defense Lawyer(TM) and A.I. legal risk panelist for some of the largest healthcare and financial businesses in the U.S. weighed in adding that "what happened with Change foreshadows a new even larger risk on the horizon. Imagine infiltration of sensitive information for ransom purposes by A.I. 'faking' that it is your most trusted IT or cyber security and privacy professional."

"Now is the time to prepare with policies, trainings, and practice triage so everyone with access to personal health care or financial information is deputized as a 'cyber safe' team member. At GenCo and QPWB, we're here to help."

This cyberattack will surely catalyze a legislative push for stronger cybersecurity mandates in the healthcare industry. Statements from lawmakers reflect the critical nature of the issue, with Senator Chuck Schumer notably urging for swift federal action to ensure providers maintain financial stability.

"The longer this disruption persists, the more difficult it will be for hospitals to continue to provide comprehensive health care services to patients," said Schumer.  "The work cannot stop until all affected providers have sufficient financial stability to weather this storm and continue serving their patients."

As legal counsel to many different types of organizations throughout the healthcare sector, our role is to navigate these turbulent waters alongside our clients. The lack of a clear resolution timeline from UnitedHealth Group amplifies the need for an immediate and strategic legal approach. The time to review their cybersecurity measures is now. Assess potential legal exposures and prepare for the likelihood of increased regulatory scrutiny and patient litigation in the future.

In line with our commitment to provide exemplary legal services, Quintairos, Prieto, Wood & Boyer, P.A., and our affiliates remain at the forefront, offering our extensive background in healthcare law to ensure our clients not only survive this crisis but emerge with stronger, more resilient practices.

Discover the QPWB Difference

Learn More

Related News

April 16, 2024

Navigating the Legal and Ethical...

Miami, Florida – Artificial intelligence is making waves worldwide, emerging as one of the most transformative new technologies of...

April 1, 2024

The Workers’ Comp Practice at...

Newark, NJ – Quintairos, Prieto, Wood & Boyer, P.A. (QPWB), a leading national law firm, is pleased to announce...

April 1, 2024

QPWB Expands Westward with New...

Boise, Idaho – Quintairos, Prieto, Wood & Boyer, P.A. (QPWB), a premier national law firm, is thrilled to announce...

Start typing and press Enter to search

Shopping Cart