eClinicalWorks Faces Another Class-Action Suit

Ryan Black

A barrage of lawsuits were filed against EHR providers in late 2017. yet another has come to light.

In November, a family filed a 1-dollar-short-of-a-billion-dollar class-action lawsuit against electronic health records (EHR) vendor eClinicalWorks. The family of Stjepan Tot claimed that a lack of transparency in the company’s EHRs prevented proper treatment of his cancer, resulting in his death.

Now, primary care physicians in 2 different states have filed another class-action suit against the company, asserting that its services did not achieve Meaningful Use standards as promised. Carrollton Family Clinic LLC, located in Mississippi, and Perrin Curran, MD, a California physician, filed the complaint in the US District Court of Massachusetts on December 21st.

“[eClinicalWorks]’s software failed to live up to [eClinicalWorks]’s promises and guarantees, and its statements about its software’s current compliance with the certification criteria of the Meaningful Use program were outright false,” the complaint states.

The primary care physicians allege that the technology cost them government reimbursement. Curran says he had to return $18,000 because his EHR system did not allow him to verify his 2011 attestation, while the Carrollton practice says it was denied Meaningful Use incentives by Mississippi officials who deemed the eClinicalWorks system noncompliant. The plaintiffs are demanding the right to seek damages in a jury trial.

The company claims that the charges are “wholly without merit,” though the filing cites the company’s $155 million settlement from May 2017 as evidence of its software problems. In that case, the Department of Justice ordered the company to pay out the substantial amount to a series of plaintiffs based on failure to meet Meaningful Use requirements.

The suit, first reported by Healthcare IT News, continues the flurry of lawsuits lobbied against EHR providers at the end of 2017. Epic Systems is being sued for hundreds of millions of dollars for allegedly overbilling CMS. Cerner is challenging Epic’s contract with the University of Illinois, and more than 60 Indiana hospitals, alongside records company Ciox, are being accused of inaccurately reporting compliance with Medicare Meaningful Use measures and defrauding taxpayers of millions.

CliniComp is suing Cerner for allegedly violating its patents for cloud-based EHR technology. Of course, if CliniComp has a viable case, it may apply to almost every other vendor in the space, too.