eClinicalWorks mishap is known by everyone in the US Healthcare industry. Interestingly, new things are unfolding related to the settlement and the latest are, thankfully, positive. So the U.S. Department of Justice settled a False Claims Act case with eClinicalWorks and the repercussion came in the form of worried eClinicalWorks clients who started asking whether they will be required to pay back incentives which they received while using the company’s EHR software to attest to meaningful use criteria.
Recently an announcement came from the CMS that stated that providers won’t have to repay the incentive payment. A CMS spokesperson was reported to have stated the following statement.
“Providers that in good faith successfully attested using eClinicalWorks software and received an incentive payment will not have to repay the incentive payment.”
The spokesperson further said, “CMS realizes that providers may rely on the software they use for the accuracy of reporting. CMS does not plan to audit eClincalWorks providers based on the settlement under which eClinicalWorks has agreed to repay approximately $125 million to the Medicare and Medicaid EHR incentive payment program.”
For those who weren’t following the news, The DOJ announced on May 31 that eClinicalWorks have agreed to pay $155 million in order to settle a False Claims Act lawsuit. This lawsuit involved giving customers kickbacks and deceptively obtaining the documentation necessary for medical practices to attest to meaningful use with the eClinicalWorks software.
The whistleblower of eClinicalWorks fraud was Brendan Delaney, a former New York City employee with a past work experience at the Riker’s Island prison. The lucky Brendan Delaney was reported to have received $30 million from the $155 million that eClinicalWorks paid as a settlement.
As for the fate of eClinicalWorks, an Independent Review Organization watchdog will be monitoring its activity for five years. The company was also required, under terms of the agreement, to either upgrade its existing customers to a new version or transfer all their data to another EHR. All this is to be done free of charge.