eClinicalWorks to pay $155 Million to settle false claims act allegations

eClinicalWorks (ECW) one of the largest vendors of electronic health records software in The US, and three of its founders will pay a total of $155 million to resolve a False Claims Act lawsuit alleging that ECW misrepresented the capabilities of its software,The United States, Justice Department announced.

The settlement also resolves allegations that ECW paid kickbacks to certain customers in exchange for promoting its product. ECW is headquartered in Westborough, Massachusetts.

Apart from falsifying requirements for EHR certification the federal prosecutors claimed that the system was unable to accurately display medication and lab results, creating a significant risk for patient health and safety.

Under the terms of the settlement agreements, ECW and three of its founders (Chief Executive Officer Girish Navani, Chief Medical Officer Rajesh Dharampuriya, M.D., and Chief Operating Officer Mahesh Navani) are jointly and severally liable for the payment of $154.92 million to the United States. Separately, Developer Jagan Vaithilingam will pay $50,000, and Project Managers Bryan Sequeira, and Robert Lynes will each pay $15,000.

“Electronic health records have the potential to improve the care provided to Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, but only if the information is accurate and accessible,” said Special Agent in Charge Phillip Coyne of HHS-OIG. “Those who engage in fraud that undermines the goals of EHR or puts patients at risk can expect a thorough investigation and strong remedial measures such as those in the novel and innovative Corporate Integrity Agreement in this case.”

The company did not admit wrongdoing as part of the agreement. “Today’s settlement recognizes that we have addressed the issues raised, and have taken significant measures to promote compliance and transparency,” Girish Navani, said in a statement. “We are pleased to put this matter behind us and concentrate all of our efforts on our customers and continued innovations to enhance patient care delivery.”

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