Konica Minolta Healthcare Americas Inc. is going to pay $500,000 as a financial penalty to bring to an end a case against Viztek LLC, its ex-subsidiary, to take care of False Claims Act violations in relation to its electronic health record (EHR) product.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 created the Medicare & Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs to prompt healthcare companies to assume a certified EHR. Healthcare companies with a certified EHR were eligible to receive incentive payments to make up for the cost of buying the solution, as long as they could show purposeful use of the EHR technology.
Companies offering EHR solutions need to prove that they meet the criteria adopted by HHS and have the certification. A whistleblower who was a former Viztek product manager said that Viztek and Konica Minolta Healthcare faked testing results for their Viztek solution EXA EHR in 2015, thus misrepresenting the product’s capabilities. It was in October 2015 when Konica Minolta bought Viztek and the EHR was undergoing testing.
In December 2017, the whistleblower took legal action against Viztek and Konica Minolta while subject to the whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Act. Allegedly, because of the fake testing results, healthcare companies that used the EHR solution filed with the HHS false claims for EHR incentive payments in 2015 and 2016.
The lawsuit alleges that EXA EHR did not possess the capabilities that were required to get certification at the time of its testing. Viztek asserted to Infogard, an EHR testing company, that its product satisfied the HHS-adopted standards, and the hard-coded software program passed the certification tests, although the solution can’t support the pertinent criteria for its clients.
The lawsuit also named Infogard as a defendant. Allegedly, Infogard was aware that EXA EHR failed to satisfy all pertinent requirements to be certified or haphazardly ignored the truth that it failed to meet the prescribed criteria.
The whistleblower will get $100,000 as part of his share in the settlement amount. The Whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Act states that a whistleblower who brings civil actions on behalf of the U.S government gets a share in any settlement.