31 May 2017
The Department of Justice has slapped an electronic health records vendor, eClinicalWorks, with a $155 million fine in a false claims lawsuit. eClinicalWorks initially disputed the allegations made in the lawsuit, but eventually agreed to settle so they could avoid costly and drawn out litigation.
Central to the lawsuit was the allegation that eClinicalWorks was giving customers incentives for promoting their products to gain certification. Specifically, the Department of Justice said eClicnicalWorks added some drug codes that were needed for certification into their code instead of letting the software access the codes from a database. They also left off an audit log to track user actions and they didn’t fulfill data portability requirements that would allow doctors to transfer patient data electronic health record software by other developers.
As a statement from the Department of Justice put it, eClinicalWorks “caused the submission of false claims for federal incentive payments based on the use of ECW’s software.”
A representative from eClinicalWorks said they’ve taken steps to remedy the issue and that they’re happy to get back to taking care of their customers.
The exact amount eClicnicalWorks owes is $154,920,000, which is to come from CEO Girish Navani and CMO Mahesh Navani. A developer and two project managers are liable for a total of $80,000. $30 million of the fine will go to the whistleblower, who also filed the lawsuit.