Epic e-prescribing returns to normal operations following cyber-attack

PROVIDENCE OREGON – Please see below for the latest update following the Change Healthcare cyber-attack.

March 4 update


  • Epic's e-prescribing is back to NORMAL operations for both controlled and not-controlled substance medication prescribing.  
  • Dispensing / retail pharmacies continue to experience impaired online claims adjudication. Ongoing work on this front will hopefully fully resolve this issue within the upcoming days.

Advised Actions

  • Please revert to normal e-prescribing workflows. 
  • Please stop using paper prescriptions. Pull paper scripts out of circulation and secure them.

March 1 update

We have been made aware that patients of other health care systems may be receiving phone calls or texts from an entity asking for personal information such as social security numbers or birth dates. If you receive a phone call or text like this, please do not provide any personal information. At this time, it is unclear as to whether this is related to the Change Healthcare cyber-attack. 

Patient prescription process impaired

Feb. 23, 2024

As you may have seen in the news media, a cyber-attack on Change Healthcare is affecting patients’ ability to get prescriptions filled successfully.

Change Healthcare manages UnitedHealthcare’s pharmacy billing system and processes most prescriptions in the U.S. This is a developing situation. We have worked with pharmacy and clinical informatics teams to summarize what we know. 

Here’s what we know now

  1. ePrescribing is impaired when using SureScripts from an EHR or other portals. 
    • This is preventing or significantly delaying the delivery of prescriptions to various pharmacies. 
    • The pharmacies we have so far confirmed are experiencing these issues are Costco, Sav-On, Vons, Pavilions, Albertsons, Safeway, and Haagen.
  2. Claims processing and billing for prescriptions filled by pharmacies is down or working intermittently due to the cybersecurity incident. 

Impacts on clinical teams and patients

  • Our Credena pharmacies use Change Healthcare, so we are unable to do online prescription adjudication for certain payers during prescription dispensing. Credena will fill all or a portion of patient’s prescriptions so that patient care continues uninterrupted. 
  • Providence providers who are sending prescriptions to Credena pharmacies (on Epic Willow Ambulatory) are not affected, as these orders are not transmitted through Surescripts. 

Advised actions

  • To prescribe non-controlled substances:
     Providers are not able to send prescriptions electronically to pharmacies that use Change Healthcare for prescription adjudication. SureScripts is mitigating this by faxing Non-Controlled-Substance prescriptions to these pharmacies. 
  • To prescribe controlled substances:
     For Controlled-Substance prescriptions, providers should print prescriptions on tamper-resistant paper and provide them to patients. 
  • Review submitted prescriptions to ensure transmission:
     Prescriptions submitted electronically within the last 48 hours to pharmacies that use Change Healthcare may not have transmitted correctly. Clinical teams are encouraged to review their transmitted prescriptions to ensure whether they were sent to the pharmacy. Any prescriptions that were not transmitted can be viewed in Epic under the “E-Prescribing Error” folder. Any prescriptions in this folder should be resubmitted using the workflows outlined above.

  • Communicate with patients: 
    Please let your patients know that they may experience a delay or issue at their community pharmacy. 
    Patients may opt to pay for the medication directly at the external pharmacy of their choice without using their insurance. We understand that this may not be feasible for many patients. Pharmacies may be able to accommodate for short day supplies to patients as needed while claims systems are being restored.  

Our priority is the well-being and safety of our patients. By taking proactive measures and informing them of this potential issue, we aim to minimize any inconveniences they may experience. 

Stay updated

  • For more information on the outage, Change Healthcare is providing updates. 
  • Reach out to Mihai Onofrei, Pharm.D., executive director of pharmacy, Providence Clinical Network.
  • Providence-employed clincians can follow Providence System Pharmacy Incidence Center MS Teams posts. Join the MS Teams group.
Previous Article
Clinicians can easily access Providence’s MedPearl app in Microsoft Teams
Clinicians can easily access Providence’s MedPearl app in Microsoft Teams

Developed by Providence, MedPearl was written by clinicians for clinicians to help improve exam room workfl...

Next Article
Providence Cancer Institute celebrates historic milestone to finish cancer
Providence Cancer Institute celebrates historic milestone to finish cancer

The FDA just approved a new immunotherapy for advanced melanoma. Dr. Walter Urba shares how Providence’s pa...