UVM Health Network continues to tally costs of ransomware attack

Updated: Jun. 17, 2021 at 5:06 PM EDT
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - It’s been nearly eight months since the ransomware attack that crippled the UVM Health Network, delayed patient care, and cost upwards of $63 million.

The attack in October knocked out computers affecting six hospitals, three in Vermont and three in New York. Scheduling and patient medical records were affected and cancer patients were among those that faced delays in treatment. The FBI is still investigating who carried out the attack and how, but we know the network, which serves over a million people in our region, did not pay the ransom.

Officials still don’t know the full financial impact and continue to negotiate with insurance companies. We’re told the network is insured for $30 million. The Green Mountain Care Board, which approves hospital budgets, says the cost will far exceed the coverage.

GMCB Chair Kevin Mullin commends the hospital for its quick response to the attack and says they will have to take into account the cost of preventing these attacks in the future budgeting process. “This will help us in the coming hospital budget process because we’ll be asking other hospitals what other measures they’ve taken, what insurance policies do they have, what steps has their IT department taken to mitigate the damage of an attack?” he said.

Mullin also says accountability is making sure the network is doing what it can do to make sure this doesn’t happen again. UVM Health Network leaders were not available for comment Thursday. It’s unclear whether the network will ask regulators to offset the cost of the hack and its financial impact by raising its rates during the next budget cycle this fall.

Mullin says that UVM was actually ahead of some other hospitals in the region with its protocols and practices.

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