Epic cracks down on startup

EHR vendor Epic Systems told customers in a notice that it is cutting off data access to a startup called Particle Health, alleging that the company has been misusing patient data, CNBC reported April 12.

In a notice sent to customers April 11, Epic said that Particle was using patient data in an "unauthorized and unethical" manner unrelated to medical treatment. According to the article, this move impedes Particle's access to its systems, which contain more than 300 million patient records. 

Particle serves as a middleman, facilitating data access between Epic and organizations like hospitals and clinics.

CNBC reported that patient data, protected by HIPAA, requires consent for third-party access. Epic's EHR can be accessed through Carequality, facilitating more than 400,000 document exchanges monthly. 

To become a Carequality member, Particle had to undergo vetting and agree to specific data exchange purposes. Epic limits data access to requests for "treatment" purposes, according to the article. The EHR vendor raised concerns about Particle's data retrieval accuracy and suspended its connection on March 21, citing potential HIPAA violations.

In an April 12 blog post, Carequality said it takes disputes "very seriously and is committed to maintaining the integrity of the dispute resolution process as well as trusted exchange within the framework." Meanwhile, Particle said in an April 12 blog post that it began "addressing this issue immediately" after Epic "stopped responding to data requests from a subset of customers" on March 21.

Particle also said in a April 15 news release that Epic had implied it completely disconnected Particle Health and its customers from Epic's data, but that sentiment "is not true."

"In fact, the vast majority of Particle Health customers have continued to actively receive data from Epic, without interruption, for use in their important work supporting providers in the treatment of patients," Particle wrote in the release. "Beginning March 21, 2024, Epic indiscriminately stopped responding to queries from some Particle Health customers. While there is an ongoing dispute between Epic and Particle Health, related to three specific customers, the significant majority of Particle Health customers impacted by Epic's actions were not in any way related to this dispute."

Epic did not respond to CNBC's request for comment.

Copyright © 2024 Becker's Healthcare. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Cookie Policy. Linking and Reprinting Policy.


Featured Whitepapers

Featured Webinars