I went to the pharmacy the other day to pick up my diabetic medication and ran into a problem.

The Pharmacist informed me that he couldn't process my prescription because the processor used to coordinate billing had been down all day.

Major Prescription Billing Company Outage Affects Patients Nationwide

Change Healthcare is a large company based in Nashville, that provides a billing service to pharmacies across the country.

Without Change Healthcare, pharmacies cannot bill your insurance company for the prescriptions they are filling.

While this doesn't impact all pharmacy transactions, it does impact many transactions, as I found out personally.

Major Prescription Billing Company Targeted in Cyberattack

The company is blaming the problem on a breach of security.  According to a statement on the company's site, 

"Change Healthcare is experiencing a network interruption related to a cyber security issue and our experts are working to address the matter. Once we became aware of the outside threat, in the interest of protecting our partners and patients, we took immediate action to disconnect our systems to prevent further impact"

The problem was first noticed on Wednesday on the east coast.  It has since spread nationwide.

Change Healthcare, is a subsidiary of United Health.

The company did say they are working with cybersecurity experts and law enforcement to determine the origin of this attack.

They say they expect the system to be back online Friday or later.

If you are like me and need your medicine, keep in mind that there is little pharmacies can do if they can't bill your insurance.

An Advantage of Using a Locally-Owned Pharmacy

Locally owned, family pharmacies are usually able to find a way to help their regular customers.

Bhaumik Thacker, the owner of Westside Pharmacy in Trenton says,

This type of outage is always frustrating for the patients. We will always do anything in our power to ensure our patients get the medications they need, as quickly as possible

Another option is to check with your physician to see if they have samples they can give you to hold you over.

The nationwide Pharmacy billing outage comes the same week as Cell users nationwide had to deal with their own nationwide outage.  

There's been no comment on the origin of that outage.

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