EHR Vendor Faces Massive Class Action Lawsuit, Settles in False Claims Act Case

A widely used electronic health record (EHR) vendor is facing a class action lawsuit worth almost $1 billion in damages, in addition to allegations that its EHR does not meet “meaningful use” EHR incentive Program guidelines.

According to the plaintiff in the class action suite, Kristina Tot, doctors failed to identify early symptoms of cancer in Stjepan Tot’s chart due to software flaws. Kristina Tot, who’s the administrator of Stjepan’s estate, is requesting a $999 million settlement on charges that the “eClinicalWorks records system failed to maintain his medical records ‘in a manner that maintained their integrity. In particular, he was unable to determine reliably when his first symptoms of cancer appeared in that his medical records failed to accurately display his medical history on progress notes,’” according to Health Data Management.

More than 850,000 healthcare providers use eClinicalWorks software, per the lawsuit, which compromises the health of millions of patients, according to Tot. Tot asserts that the software fails in several ways, including being unable to reliably record diagnostic imaging orders; failed audit log requirements; failed data portability requirements; and failure to satisfy required certification criteria, among others, Healthcare IT News reported.

In other bad news for the company, six months ago it paid $155 million to the Department of Justice to settle a False Claims Act lawsuit. The suit alleged that eClinicalWorks lied about its compliance with meaningful use requirements.

Health Data Management reports that the settlement asserts that the vendor denied any wrongdoing in agreeing to the terms, and that the claims “settled by the agreement are allegations only, and there has been no determination of liability.”

Mary Butler is the associate editor at The Journal of AHIMA.

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