Earnings report points to diversion of care during incident for financial loss.

A ransomware attack last fall cost Universal Health Services $67 million in pre-tax losses, the healthcare provider confirmed in an earnings report released today.

Referring to it as an “information technology security incident,” UHS officials said the cyberattack forced the organization to suspend user access to several information technology applications in the US during the attack. No evidence of unauthorized access, copying or misuse of any patient or employee data was identified to date, according to UHS, one of the largest hospital and healthcare services providers in the US.

The disruption caused by the attack prompted UHS staff to divert ambulance traffic and elective/scheduled procedures at UHS acute care hospitals to competitor facilities during the recovery time, which UHS said affected its finances.

“We also incurred significant incremental labor expense, both internal and external, to restore information technology operations as expeditiously as possible,” the earnings report stated. “Certain administrative functions such as coding and billing were delayed into December, 2020, which had a negative impact on our operating cash flows during the fourth quarter of 2020.”

The full earnings report can be found here.

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