Allscripts Healthcare Solutions’ tentative settlement with the US Department of Justice for $145 million would be the second largest settlement involving electronic health records (EHR) so far, if finalized.
Allscripts said the EHR settlement, which it announced last week, involved Practice Fusion, an EHR company Allscripts acquired in 2018, and would resolve alleged Anti-Kickback Statute and HIPAA violations.
eClinicalWorks, an EHR vendor, paid the government $155 million in 2017 to settle what was a landmark whistleblower case brought by Phillips & Cohen LLP. The settlement covered allegations that eClinicalWorks paid kickbacks, falsely certified its electronic health records met government criteria and violated the False Claims Act in other ways.
The government has been investigating Practice Fusion since at least March 2017, when the company received a request for documents from the US Attorney’s Office in Vermont. Allscripts acquired the EHR company 11 months later.
Between April 2018 and January 2019, Practice Fusion received five additional requests from the government for documents and information, according to a 10Q Allscripts filed earlier this year. In March, Practice Fusion received a grand jury subpoena as part of an investigation into possible criminal compliance violations.
Allscripts President Rick Poulton said during an earnings call on Aug. 8 that the tentative $145 million settlement was “not insignificant” and was in line with other settlements between the Justice Department and EHR vendors to resolve certification-related claims.
When the eClinical Works settlement was announced, Acting US Attorney for the District of Vermont Eugenia Cowles declared that the settlement “demonstrates that EHR companies will not succeed in flouting the certification requirements.”
The story of the eClinicalWorks case and the whistleblower, Brendan Delaney, was featured in the CBS series, “Whistleblower,” last year.
In a separate case, Greenway Health agreed in February to pay $57.25 million to the government to resolve allegations that the Florida-based EHR developer violated the Anti-Kickback Statute and falsely obtained its EHR certification.
More False Claims Act cases involving electronic health records are expected. Anyone who is aware of issues with EHR software should consult with an experienced whistleblower lawyer who can answer questions based on their circumstances and advise them about their options.
About Phillips & Cohen
Phillips & Cohen is the nation’s most successful law firm representing whistleblowers. Our cases have helped federal, state and local governments recover more than $12.3 billion in civil settlements and criminal fines. Phillips & Cohen’s work for whistleblowers is regularly recognized by law industry awards, such as the National Law Journal’s list of the “Hot Plaintiffs’ Firms” and Lawdragon’s annual list of the “500 Leading Lawyers in America.” www.phillipsandcohen.com