Potential Laboratory Delays

Dear MCH Patients,

Due to a cyberattack involving Change Healthcare, patients may experience delays receiving laboratory results. Upon being alerted of the incident with Change Healthcare last Wednesday, February 21st, MCH began working with vendors to make sure the hospital was disconnected from all Change Healthcare products to ensure the safety and security of patient health information.

Change Healthcare is a health care technology company that is part of Optum and owned by UnitedHealth Group. Change/Optum touches almost every hospital in the United States in one way or another – including ours. Due to Change/Optum’s significant scale, nationwide scope, and the concentration of mission critical services they provide or support including but not limited to: pharmacy, health care technologies, clinical authorizations, revenue cycle and more, this cyberattack has the potential to create significant disruptions in the delivery of and access to health care.

The delay we are experiencing is due to a global interruption of service that is impacting our reference lab at Catholic Medical Center (CMC). A reference lab is a laboratory that receives lab specimens from another laboratory and performs tests on such specimen. MCH partners with CMC on a daily basis in the processing of specialized lab orders that aren’t typically done at MCH. While MCH is still utilizing CMC for lab testing at this time, to protect patient information, all processing is being done manually rather than electronically. Due to this process change, patients may not be able to view lab results on the patient portal, if their results are coming from CMC. However, all lab results that are able to be tested at MCH and historical results may still be viewed.

Please be assured that all lab results, whether coming from our reference lab or from MCH’s lab are being reviewed by the ordering clinician in a timely manner and all critical orders will continue to take precedence.

As this is a national incident, we are receiving regular updates from the American Hospital Association (AHA), which has been in contact with the FBI, Department of Health and Human Services, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency and UnitedHealth Group regarding this incident.

We continue to monitor closely all updates from Change Healthcare/Optum on the situation and are also testing the security, redundancy and resiliency of our network and data backups to ensure they remain offline and not at risk.

We understand that this situation may cause concern, and we want to emphasize that the security of your personal information remains our top priority. Our team is working diligently to address the challenges presented by this situation.

We are grateful for your patience and understanding as we navigate this situation. Thank you for your continued trust in Monadnock Community Hospital.