MaineCare continues to respond to a disruption in services caused by a cybersecurity breach affecting Change Healthcare, an out-of-state vendor that operates the state’s Medicaid pharmacy claims system.

Change Healthcare – a subsidiary of UnitedHealth Group – shut down its systems on Feb. 21 to limit the impact of a cyberattack that has caused prescription delays and disruptions for pharmacies and health care systems in many states.

As a result, MaineCare has been unable to pay pharmacies for filling prescriptions for its members, according to a statement from the Maine Department of Health and Human Services.

On Tuesday – seven days into the shutdown – MaineCare authorized pharmacies to fill members’ covered prescriptions for up to 30 days, extending the three-day authorization that MaineCare granted to pharmacies on Friday.

“Pharmacies should continue to fill members’ prescriptions as written by providers and process claims as they normally would,” the statement said. “The department will pay all eligible claims submitted once the system is operational again.”

DHHS Commissioner Jeanne Lambrew said pharmacies should neither turn away MaineCare members nor ask them to pay out of pocket for any prescription that is covered by the state’s form of Medicaid.


“It’s critically important that MaineCare members have and maintain access to their prescriptions,” Lambrew said. “We recognize the challenges MaineCare members are facing and will continue to do all we can to limit the impact of this disruption. We thank pharmacies for their help in ensuring access to needed medications under these extraordinary circumstances.”

DHHS is in close communication with Change Healthcare about its timeline for restoring the pharmacy claims system and the impact of the security breach on MaineCare members’ personal information, the statement said.

“MaineCare takes the security of members’ personal information seriously,” the statement said. “Change Healthcare has not indicated that any personal data of MaineCare members was improperly accessed as part of the network disruption.”

MaineCare members having difficulty filling prescriptions may call the MaineCare Pharmacy Help Desk at 866-796-2463. High call volume may delay responses.

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