$145 Million Settlement Proposal of Allscripts to Resolve Its HIPAA and HITECH Act Violations

Allscripts Healthcare Solutions proposed a preliminary settlement to resolve the violations of HIPAA, the Anti-Kickback Statute and the electronic health record (EHR) incentive program of the HITECH Act by the electronic health record (EHR) firm Practice Fusion, which Allscripts acquired in 2018.

Before the acquisition of Practice Fusion, the Attorney’s Office for the District of Vermont investigated the company in March 2017 and had documented the information. From April 2018 to January 2019, the firm received more requests for documents and information by means of HIPAA subpoenas and civil investigative demands.

In March 2019, the firm got a grand jury subpoena in relation to a Department of Justice (DOJ) investigation into the Practice Fusion’s business practices, potential Anti-Kickback Statute violations, HIPAA violation, and the payments obtained under the HHS EHR incentive program. There is little information available regarding the nature of the asserted violations by Practice Fusion.

With the proposed settlement, Allscripts is going to pay $145 million to the DOJ to resolve all civil and criminal liabilities of the company and Practice Fusion. The President of Allscripts, Rick Poulton, is hoping that the settlement will be enough to settle the case. Since the acquisition of Practice Fusion, Allscripts had to put more resources into the investigation. In case of an agreement, the company could move on.

Although the settlement amount of $145 million isn’t insignificant, it is aligned with other settlement amounts in the market, Poulton said that they are happy with the settlement in principle. The final details of the settlement will be discussed over the coming months.

In 2018, the HHS made a settlement with EHR vendor eClinicalWorks regarding the alleged false claims associated to the HITECH Act EHR incentive program. eClinicalWorks had to pay $155 million to settle the case.

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Christine Garcia is the staff writer on Calculated HIPAA. Christine has several years experience in writing about healthcare sector issues with a focus on the compliance and cybersecurity issues. Christine has developed in-depth knowledge of HIPAA regulations. You can contact Christine at [email protected]. You can follow Christine on Twitter at https://twitter.com/ChrisCalHIPAA