Health records vendor settles false-claims lawsuit for $155M

BURLINGTON, Vt. — One of the country's largest vendors of electronic health records will pay a $155 million settlement to resolve allegations it caused health care providers to submit false claims to the federal government, the U.S. Department of Justice and federal prosecutors in Vermont announced Wednesday.

The acting U.S. attorney for Vermont said eClinicalWorks, of Westborough, Massachusetts, and three executives will pay the settlement to resolve allegations the company misrepresented the abilities of its software and paid kickbacks to some customers in exchange for promoting its products.

"Every day, millions of Americans rely on the accuracy of their electronic health records to record and transmit their vital health information," Acting Assistant Attorney General Chad Readler, of the Department of Justice's Civil Division, said in statement. "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."

Most of the money will go into federal Medicare and Medicaid funds in Washington, said Eugenia Cowles, acting U.S. attorney for Vermont, who said it was the largest False Claims Act recovery in the district of Vermont.

The case began as a whistleblower lawsuit filed in Vermont by a former employee of the New York City Division of Health Care Access and Improvement. The employee, Brendan Delaney, was implementing the eClinicalWorks electronic health records system at the Rikers Island jail complex when he noticed numerous software problems he alleged put patients at risk, said the Phillips & Cohen law firm, which represented him.

Vermont is among many states that had providers that used the software, prosecutors said. An attorney representing Delaney said they chose to file the lawsuit in Vermont because of the talented team of lawyers in the federal prosecutor's office.

Delaney will receive $30 million from the settlement.

Colette G. Matzzie, who represented Delaney, called the case "ground-breaking."

"It is the first time that the government has held an electronic health records vendor accountable for failing to meet federal standards designed to ensure patient safety and quality patient care," Matzzie said.

Federal prosecutors allege the company violated the false-claims act by falsely getting certification for its electronic health records software; by causing health care providers to falsely certify compliance with requirements to receive federal incentive payments; and by paying kickbacks to providers to recommend its product, Cowles said.

The company has denied any wrongdoing.

"Today's settlement recognizes that we have addressed the issues raised and have taken significant measures to promote compliance and transparency," said CEO Girish Navani, who will pay part of the settlement. "We are pleased to put this matter behind us and concentrate all of our efforts on customers and continued innovations to enhance patient care delivery."

As part of the settlement, eClinicalWorks must retain an independent organization to assess its software quality control systems.

You may also interested in

Facebook takes on food delivery, challenges Uber and others

Oct 13, 2017

Facebook says ordering food for takeout or delivery is complicated, and it will help users save time by bringing a bunch of existing food-delivery services into its app and partnering with some restaurants directly

Canadian retailers see potential NAFTA change as threat

Sep 22, 2017

Canadian retailers fear their survival is at stake if a change to the North American Free Trade Agreement that is being pushed by Washington leads to online U.S. retailers being able to sell their goods into Canada free of tax and duty

Court considers constitutionality of Ohio execution process

Feb 21, 2017

A federal appeals court plans to consider arguments over the constitutionality of Ohio's lethal injection process as the state hopes to start carrying out executions once again

People also read these

Facebook takes on food delivery, challenges Uber and others

Oct 13, 2017

Facebook says ordering food for takeout or delivery is complicated, and it will help users save time by bringing a bunch of existing food-delivery services into its app and partnering with some restaurants directly

Canadian retailers see potential NAFTA change as threat

Sep 22, 2017

Canadian retailers fear their survival is at stake if a change to the North American Free Trade Agreement that is being pushed by Washington leads to online U.S. retailers being able to sell their goods into Canada free of tax and duty

Court considers constitutionality of Ohio execution process

Feb 21, 2017

A federal appeals court plans to consider arguments over the constitutionality of Ohio's lethal injection process as the state hopes to start carrying out executions once again

Weather, 20 December
Houston Weather
+7

High: +11° Low: -2°

Humidity: 83%

Wind: NNE - 7 KPH

Canberra Weather
+27

High: +27° Low: +17°

Humidity: 87%

Wind: W - 20 KPH

Roissy-en-France Weather
+6

High: +6° Low: -5°

Humidity: 87%

Wind: ENE - 7 KPH

Florence Weather
+9

High: +9° Low: +6°

Humidity: 97%

Wind: ENE - 17 KPH

Parga Weather
+7

High: +16° Low: +4°

Humidity: 100%

Wind: SE - 25 KPH