Change Healthcare enables new service amid outage

FILE PHOTO: The corporate logo of the UnitedHealth Group appears on the side of one of their office buildings in Santa Ana, California

(Reuters) -UnitedHealth's unit Change Healthcare said on Friday it has enabled a new instance of its ePrescribing service for all its customers, more than a week after it reported a hack that had a knock-on effect on players across the U.S. healthcare system.

"We have completed standing up a new instance of Change Healthcare's Rx ePrescribing service," the company said in an update on its status page.

Change, which provides healthcare billing and data systems, added that it has completed testing with vendors and multiple retail pharmacy partners for transaction types that were impacted.

The unit, however, made a second update to add that its Clinical Exchange ePrescribing providers' tools are still not operational.

The ePrescribing service is for pharmacies that helps reduce manual prescription writing and other workarounds, while the Clinical Exchange ePrescribing is for providers.

UnitedHealth said it is continuing to bring back the online pharmacy network in a separate environment.

"We are scaling that environment and driving comprehensive connections with pharmacies and payers, so we feel confident about announcing the timeline for this pharmacy switch launch early next week," UnitedHealth said, adding this network will enable pharmacy claim submissions.

Pharmacies across the United States have been experiencing disruptions following the cyberattack at the tech unit, which was perpetrated by hackers who identified themselves as the "Blackcat" ransomware group.

The hack, disclosed last Wednesday, led to disruptions triggered by the attack which have impacted electronic pharmacy refills and insurance transactions.

(Reporting by Sriparna Roy in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)