Here we go folks! eClinicalWorks part 2. We heard yesterday about the massive fine they were hit with for faking meaningful use certification. Today, some of the details are coming out about what they need to do in addition to the $155 million dollar fine. That’s why I call it eClinicalWorks part 2!
eClinicalWorks Part 2 Specifics
Here is what they are now required to offer:
- Free Upgrades – make sure you take advantage of this. Upgrades could be costly so let them know you are aware that they are free
- Transfer of Data – This one has to hurt. They are not required to transfer customer’s data to rival EHR vendors for FREE. Painful. Not only will they lose the customer, they will have to transition them for free. Big ouch on that one.
- Employ a Watchdog – They are now required to employ an independent personal watchdog. They had to agree to a corporate integrity agreement that mandates they perform software quality oversight.
The fine stemmed from a whistleblower suit alleging that it falsely obtained certification for meeting certain criteria as part of the meaningful use EHR reimbursement program. eClinicalWorks disputes the charges but said it settled anyway to avoid the “cost and uncertainty inherent in protracted litigation.” Seriously, how much more than $155 million could litigation have cost?
At this point, I am not sure which is worse; the huge $155 million dollar fine, the customers leaving for rival EHR’s or being forced to give customers that stay free services. All in all, it’s bad.
All of this is reall kind of sad. eClinicalWorks is one of the pioneers of EHR, and really is one of the better software companies out there. I hate to see this happen to any company, yet alone one that has done well for the industry. They were one of the first to target the small practices and solo physicians to provide them with an affordable solution to paper charts. I would hope that this fraud was not a conscientious effort but all signs point to the fact that they were aware.