Health records vendor settles false claims suit for $155M
In addition to the $155m fine, eCW will agree to the corporate integrity agreement [PDF], which calls on the company to hire a compliance officer charged with keeping the company certified and compliant with government data protection requirements for EHR software. He will receive $30 million in the settlement, according to the DOJ.
The U.S. attorney in Vermont says eClinicalWorks, of Westborough, Massachusetts, and certain employees will pay the settlement.
“When comparing the trust and accountability, marketing/sales shenanigans, interoperability/data blocking and tech support problems of eClinicalWorks to the top considered options, we can say most independent practices will likely select: Practice Fusion, Allscripts, Care Cloud, AdvancedMD, Modernizing Medicine and HealthFusion (NextGen) of the exiting eClinicalWorks business”, Brown said.
This matter was jointly handled by Assistant United States Attorneys Owen C.J. Foster and Nikolas P. Kerest of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Vermont, Kelley Hauser and Edward Crooke of the Commercial Litigation Branch of the Civil Division, the HHS Office of Inspector General, and multiple HHS agencies and components. Cowles said eClinicalWorks misrepresented its software in order to get that software qualified for the program.
The original complaint establishes that the U.S. District of Vermont had jurisdiction by pointing out that a handful of medical providers in the state were eClinicalWorks customers.
Community Health Centers of Lamoille Valley operates Appleseed Pediatrics, Stowe Family Practice, Morrisville Family Health Care, The Behavioral Health & Wellness Center, Neurology Clinic and the Community Dental Clinic, according to its website.
White River Family Practice won a 2013 award for excellence while a customer of eClinicalWorks from the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society, a global nonprofit.
“Accurate and reliable electronic health records are essential to good patient care and safety”, said Matzzie.
Central Vermont Medical Center now uses eClinicalWorks software for its electronic health records and has since 2007, according to spokesman Hjonis Hanson.
“This resolution demonstrates that EHR companies will not succeed in flouting the certification requirements”, she said in a release. Delaney worked as a consultant on electronic health records systems for various hospitals and healthcare providers after leaving his job with the city in 2011, his attorneys said. The lawsuit was filed under the whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Act, which permit private individuals to sue on behalf of the government for false claims and to share in any recovery. At one point, it is alleged that the company configured the software specially to beat testing tools and trick the HHS into believing the products were far more robust and secure than they actually were.
“This is a groundbreaking case”. “This resolution is a testament to our deep commitment to public health and our determination to hold accountable those whose conduct results in improper payments by the federal government”.
The government also alleged the company paid kickbacks to certain customers in exchange for promoting its product. The company discontinued its customer referral program, according to the release.
The company and its three founders – CEO Girish Navani, CMO Rajesh Dharampuriya, MD, and COO Mahesh Navani – will be responsible for paying $154.9 million to the federal government. The five-year Central Intelligence Agency requires, among other things, that ECW retain an Independent Software Quality Oversight Organization to assess ECW’s software quality control systems and provide written semi-annual reports to OIG and ECW documenting its reviews and recommendations, according to the Justice Department press release.