Bradley attorney Jason Mehta was quoted in Compliance Portal on the risks of health systems moving too fast with technology and other advances. Greenway Health, an electronic health record software company, recently settled a case for $57 million after allegedly allowing providers to submit inaccurate data in connection with applications for federal Meaningful Use funds. The fraudulent act led providers to unwittingly accept money from Medicare and Medicaid under false pretenses.
The settlement, like the eClinicalWorks settlement, is “a cautionary tale” about the risks of moving too fast with technology and other advances, said Mehta. “Before deploying innovative health strategies, new software, technology or clinical approaches, practitioners need to be mindful that innovation is compliant.”
When he was a prosecutor, Mehta recalled the “most egregious cases” involved vendors, clinicians and durable medical equipment companies that rushed to market “without fully vetting products and ensuring they were working appropriately. That’s what this case demonstrated. [Greenway] allegedly didn’t ensure it complied fully with meaningful use.”
“Time will tell whether the government will be looking at others down the chain. I’m cautiously optimistic that the government will not hold hospitals and users of software accountable for the alleged problems with software,” Mehta said. But “the most responsible thing for hospitals and health systems to do to stay out of the government’s crosshairs is to install the latest updates” from software vendors. “Ask questions of vendors to make sure they’re compliant,” he explained. “As a clinician, you should document all efforts to ensure you’re only using software that’s compliant.”
The complete article, “EHR Vendor Settles FCA Case for $57M; Allegedly Caused Meaningful Use Overpayments,” was published by Compliance Portal in February 2019.