Following Devastating Cyberattack, Rosen Calls for Plan to Address Cyber Threats to Health Care System

Recent Cyberattack Has Impacted Several Nevada Hospitals

WASHINGTON, DC – Following a major cyberattack that crippled the largest health care payment system in the country last month, U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV) is calling on the Department of Health and Human Services and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency to put forth a plan to help health care systems respond to this incident and to prevent attacks like this in the future. The cyberattack, which reports indicate has impacted Nevada hospitals, is preventing health care providers from getting insurance approval for medical procedures and prescriptions and is causing delays across the country for many patients seeking prescriptions, including on military bases globally. The impact on hospitals’ finances also means that they may be unable to pay physician salaries or acquire medications and supplies.

“The attack against a UnitedHealth Group subsidiary, Change Healthcare, has had a severe and wide reaching effect across the nation,” wrote the members. “We are also concerned about the impact the cyber-attack has had on military clinics and hospitals worldwide, with the Defense Health Agency reporting that the attack caused military members and their families significant delays in filling prescriptions.”

“Therefore, we request that the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) develop enhanced contingency plans for outages within the healthcare ecosystem and broaden the Joint Cyber Defense Collaborative (JCDC) to ensure key healthcare sector entities proactively receive actionable threat information,” they continued. “The disruption is not limited to delays in filling prescriptions. We are hearing from healthcare sector businesses each day as they voice a growing concern that this cyber-attack already has, or will very soon, create significant cash flow disruptions to their operations.”

The full text of the letter can be found HERE

As the first and only computer programmer to serve in the United States Senate, Senator Rosen has led the fight to strengthen U.S. cybersecurity. Last year, her bipartisan Department of Defense Civilian Cybersecurity Reserve Act, legislation authorizing a Civilian Cybersecurity Reserve pilot program for U.S. Cyber Command, was included in the Fiscal Year 2024 National Defense Authorization Act. Last Congress, Senator Rosen introduced her bipartisan Healthcare Cybersecurity Act, which would improve cybersecurity in the health care and public health sector. She has introduced bipartisan bills to bolster the cybersecurity of medical devices and records from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, both of which were signed into law. Last year, Rosen led a bipartisan group of senators in a letter to Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas asking for a briefing on how the Department of Homeland Security is protecting Americans from possible Russian cyberattacks.