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Medication access in Utah is impacted by cyberattacks



Salt Lake City, Utah — When Cindi Beck went to pick up her medication on Wednesday from the University of Utah Health pharmacy, she was told that their computers were having issues and that they were unable to validate her insurance. As a result, she attempted a different pharmacy, according to Cindi Beck.

“They said that they’re also having the same problem, that it’s a cyber attack nationwide and that they don’t know how long it’s going to be down,” said Beck. “It’s something that, it’s software or something, that all of the pharmacies or the majority of the pharmacies use, and they don’t know how long it’s going to be down but they can’t do anything.”

About a cyber security breach that the Utah Department of Health and Human Services has verified the Medicaid pharmacy vendor “Optum” is dealing with, Beck.

Medicaid personnel has not been able to access any pharmacy claim information due to the disruptions. Although U of U’s pharmacies are still open, they are unable to process insurance claims due to an interruption in their system, they stated.

She must get access to her medication, Beck added.

“They’re significant,” she said. “It’s one for my heart, and it’s also Ritalin. So without my Ritalin, I can’t work, and without the heart medicine, I’m super short of breath and get super tired, and it affects my quality of life.”

Optum “Disconnected their systems” in an effort to “minimize the impact” of the cyberattack, according to a statement from the Department of Homeland Security. Additionally, the agency is directing pharmacists “to provide a 72-hour emergency supply of medication at no cost to Medicaid members.”

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