EHR vendor eClinicalWorks is in legal trouble yet again, this time facing a putative class-action lawsuit that alleges that its software is flawed, creating inaccuracies in patient health data.
The electronic health records vendor "has failed millions of patients by failing to maintain the integrity of patients' records" and has therefore breached its fiduciary duty, according to the complaint.
In the suit, the relative of a deceased cancer patient alleges that eClinicalWorks misrepresented its capabilities to certifying organizations so it would be certified under the meaningful use program. Faulty capabilities made it so the patient couldn't figure out, in his record, when he first had symptoms of cancer, according to the complaint filed in federal court in New York.
The company faced nearly identical allegations about lying about its software last May, in a complaint brought by the federal government alleging that the company violated the False Claims Act and federal anti-kickback statute by hiding the software's problems in meeting meaningful use requirements.
In response, eClinicalWorks agreed to pay $155 million to the federal government.
Now, eClinicalWorks is facing further repercussions for its alleged certification-related untruths, with the plaintiff in the new suit asking for $999 million. According to the complaint, inaccuracies abounded because the company did not meet certification criteria. The issues include sometimes displaying inaccurate patient medical information, showing multiple patients' data at the same time, inaccurately presenting medical history, and improperly logging treatment events. These problems make it so "millions of patients ... can no longer rely on the accuracy and veracity of their medical records," according to the complaint.
The EHR vendor declined to comment on the lawsuit.