EHR vendor to settle illegal kickback scheme for nearly $4M 

CareCloud, a Miami-based EHR and practice management software provider, has agreed to pay $3.8 million to settle allegations that it paid illegal kickbacks to drum up sales of its EHR products, the U.S. Department of Justice said April 30. 

The Justice Department claimed that CareCloud violated the False Claims Act and Anti-Kickback Statute through its marketing referral program, dubbed the Champions Program. Between Jan. 1, 2012, and March 31, 2017, CareCloud allegedly offered its existing clients cash equivalent credits and cash bonuses to recommend the vendor's EHR products to potential clients. 

Clients who participated in the Champions Program signed written agreements that prevented them from providing negative information about CareCloud's EHR products to prospective clients, the Justice Department alleged. 

The U.S. claimed that CareCloud's payments to participants violated the federal Anti-Kickback Statute and that the EHR vendor violated the False Claims Act, since the kickbacks resulted in false claims submitted by CareCloud for federal incentive payments under CMS' Meaningful Use Programs and the Merit-based Payment System. 

"Product functionality, reliability, and safety should drive a medical software company’s success, not illegal kickbacks paid to promote its products," Acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida Juan Antonio Gonzalez said in the news release. "There is simply no place for kickbacks in our country’s healthcare system. Companies who ignore this will be held accountable."

 

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