eClinicalWorks fined $132K for failing to comply with DOJ settlement agreement

The HHS Office of Inspector General fined eClinicalWorks $132,550 for violating a 2017 agreement with the Justice Department, which had required the vendor to report patient safety issues with its EHR in a timely manner.

Nearly one year ago, eClinicalWorks paid $155 million to the federal government as part of a settlement to resolve allegations it falsified its EHR certification standards.

Part of that settlement included signing a five-year corporate integrity agreement requiring eClinicalWorks to notify regulators of reportable events — defined as issues that affect patient safety or "any identified instance of actual or suspected patient harm related to the EHR software" — within a specific timeframe. Should the issue result in a patient death, injury or readmission, the company would have 48 hours to notify OIG.

Failure to comply with the agreement would result in a $2,500 penalty that  "shall begin to accrue on the day after the date the obligation became due for each day eClinicalWorks fails to establish and effectively implement" reporting of patient safety issues.

It is not immediately clear whether eClinicalWorks failed to report patient safety events altogether, if it failed to report the events in a timely matter or a combination of the two.

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