UnitedHealth is not too big to fail, CEO tells Senate panel – ET HealthWorld

by Ahmed Abulenin

Washington: unitedhealthThe problems are not a threat to the broader economy, the largest US health insurer ceo told one senate panel Senators on Wednesday raised questions about whether the company’s size could pose a systemic threat.

Witty was questioned by senators during his first of two scheduled testimony before a recent congressional panel. cyber attack at UnitedHealth’s technology unit that affected nearly all patients and providers.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden told Witty, “Your company let the country down.”

UnitedHealth is one of the largest companies in the United States Market capitalization of $445 billion and annual revenue of $372 billion. During the hearing, senators said that it is the 11th largest company in the world.

Senator Bill Cassidy said, “The fact that you’re that big, means it (the hack) had a widespread impact, which was huge.” He said senators on the committee “will have to ask what United’s key role is.” Very impressive because it’s in everything and messing up United messes up everyone else?”

Cassidy said, “My point is that United has become almost so big that it is destined to fail, because if it fails, it will come down even further than usual.”

“I don’t believe it because actually despite our size, for example, we don’t have any hospitals in the U.S., we don’t have any drug manufacturers,” Vitti said in response.

The widespread impact of the hack was a result of UnitedHealth’s dominance. The Change unit at the center of the hack processes about 50% of the Medicare claims for approximately 900,000 physicians, 33,000 pharmacies, 5,500 hospitals and 600 laboratories in the US.

Witty told the committee that data on members of the US military was stolen in the hack.

“We believe members of the armed forces may also have been implicated in the hack,” Witty said, adding that it would take more than a week to determine how many people were affected.

The company paid a ransom of $22 million to the hackers, he said.

“I believe the larger the company, the greater the responsibility to protect its systems from hackers. UHG was a big target long before it was hacked,” Wyden said in opening remarks, adding that the hack was a national security There was danger.

UnitedHealth said last week that the health and personal data of large numbers of Americans had been stolen.

“UnitedHealth Group has not disclosed how many patients’ private medical records were stolen, how many providers went without reimbursement, and how many seniors are unable to pick up their prescriptions as a result of the hack,” Wyden said.

Vitti told the committee that hackers broke into UnitedHealth’s technology unit on Feb. 12 using stolen login credentials, giving them remote access to its network. He is scheduled to testify before the House Energy Subcommittee on oversight and investigations in the afternoon.

The hack caused widespread disruption in payments to doctors and health facilities.

In letters to both congressional committees, the American Hospital Association said an internal survey of its members found that 94% of hospitals reported losses to cash flow and more than half because of Change’s inability to process claims. reported significant or serious” financial loss.

(Reporting by Ahmed Aboulenin, editing by Nick Zieminski and Chris Sanders)

  • Published on May 2, 2024 at 06:25am IST

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