Nationwide cyberattack impacts healthcare for patients in the east

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) – A cyberattack across the United States is impacting residents in the east and some say it’s causing a delay in getting their much needed medication.

The VA Hospital in Greenville and some healthcare providers across the country say the healthcare company, Change, began experiencing computer issues on February 21st.

They say the problem threatened the security of patients’ information and delayed some prescriptions and paychecks for medical workers.

Retired Army and Marine Veteran Stuart Stevens says the pharmacy told him that his prescription had to be submitted through the mail instead of online.

“I have a lot of titanium inside of me so, especially when it’s getting cold and warm and rainy, everything really hurts, so the uh, without the medicine you know I mean I’ll just hurt a lot more,” says Stevens.

Change confirmed Thursday that ransomware group BlackCat was behind the breach.

ECU Technology Systems Instructor Joseph Jeansonne says a ransomware attack can happen when an employee opens an email at work that contains malware and scrambles files on their computer.

“In a setting like a healthcare company you wouldn’t be able to access the patient records,” says Jeansonne.

We checked in with other hospital systems about the cyberattack. In a statement, ECU Health in Greenville told WITN, ”ECU Health is aware of a cyberattack impacting third-party vendor Change Healthcare. Out of an abundance of caution, we have taken measures to minimize disruptions and ensure the safety of our systems.”

For Stevens, he’s making some adjustments. “What I’ll do is I’ll just drag it out, so if I’m supposed to take three a day, I might just take two a day just to make it last a little bit longer to make sure that there’s no day that I go without,” says Stevens.

Officials say the company Change didn’t indicate whether it paid or negotiated a ransom.

Meanwhile, VA Healthcare system officials say as of 9:30 a.m. Friday the issue was resolved.